What is a Roller Pigeon

I have been asked what are roller pigeons, how do they home? These were questions from some who was absolutely keen on pigeons but very new to the hobby.

I will try to explain this as best that I can. There are many breeds of pigeons. The most common are racing pigeons. Racing pigeons home from great distances rollers do not. Then there are birds that are kept mostly for their colours and shapes. Here is a site that will help you understand some of their genetics. They vary from fantails to pouters and it seems like several thousand breeds both extinct and common. Here is link to site with a lot of different breeds. Some are very rare. Then there are rollers or more correctly Birmingham Rollers.

Rollers were originally kept for their flying ability. They fly with in sight of their loft in circles and figure eights. As they fly they tumble backwards some times so fast that it is impossible to count the turns. Other birds seem to do so much more leisurely. So every few minutes the birds break into a roll and roll for a few seconds. It is most desirable if all the birds in a flock roll at the same time. This would be referred to a break.

OK so that is why they are called rollers. But wait they have many more great qualities. They are excellent as parents looking after their babies very well. Although birds don't like being touched they are friendly birds. I have found with my birds that after a while their interesting personalities come out. I do let my birds have domain of their own nest boxes. So they feel that they have the right to protect it even from me, this really leads to their interesting personalities coming out.

Personally to me a roller is a beautiful interesting bird. And smart too. Here are some photos.

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