Part 5: A Real Kit!
After about 2 weeks or so, your birds should be kitting without a glitch. However, in these early stages (first several weeks), it is normal to see different birds stick out from time to time, but given the opportunity, these birds will improve based on the habits you are establishing with them.
At around this time, you want your kit of young birds to be flying about 30 minutes and then as the weeks go by, you want them steadily increasing their daily airtime to about 45 to 60 minutes.
Normally, a healthy and well maintained kit of rollers will begin to naturally increase their air time. If not, you can encourage those birds that want to land early by shooing them back up before they land, using a water hose to shoo them back up or even toss a football up into the air to shoo them up as well. Any birds that want to land despite your best efforts to keep them up are suspect birds!
These birds may need to be culled or removed from your program so that their bad habits don’t ruin other proper birds who decide to follow them down. It is important that you nip this in the bud. I have had my share of young birds that might have turned out to be good kit birds ruined because I allowed them to pick up the bad habits of early landers because I did not handle the situation in a timely manner.
Sometimes an early lander is simply a bird that is not getting its fair share of food because it might be a slow eater and just does not have the energy to keep flying and since it is hungry, wants to land early and go in and eat. Unless you want to feed this bird separately (time consuming), seriously consider removing it from your program before it hurts the development of otherwise good birds.
Other times these early landers just don’t have the physical or mental ability to handle the training routine. You have to be focused and disciplined and remove this type of bird from the kit. It will cause more problems that they are worth. There are too many other birds “doing it right” to waste time on such a bird.
Now is the time to mention that a well trained kit that is flying at least 60 to 90 minutes a day for 5 to 6 days a week will be in the best position to develop properly. In a good strain of rollers the roll will take care of itself. Proper food and training will allow the birds genetics to kick in and the roll will come on its own. Some strains come in early 4 to 6 months, some longer 7 to 8 months. Just be consistent and the roll will show itself. Good luck!