Competition Flying With Rollers pigeons
By: William H. Pensom
From Pigeons, of England, September
Does competitive sport with rollers improve the
quality of the bird as a roller? Myself, as a fancier of about twenty years,
I think not. We know that a given number of birds are flown in competition,
and the kit making the most turns is judged the winner including, of course,
the style of fly, but the quality of the birds, which should come before
anything, receives no notice or attention.
Now to get a kit of birds to make these turns requires little or no
experience whatever. You can buy them from anywhere, and breed them without
any thought in selection and stock, and get good results. Birds of this
caliber are those, which can do anything but roll.
When performing a turn, it is noticed that the fall is a good depth, but I
have noticed no good rolling. Of course, you get one or two that roll, but
surely these pigeons cannot be classed as good rollers, not in the sense of
the word known to fanciers and breeders of the true English Roller.
A good roller is a bird, which can roll tight like a ball through the air
for four or five yards.
I find it most difficult to describe a good bird, but I have noticed that
strangers to the hobby have easily discerned the marvelous way in which they
roll. They readily grasp the fascination of keeping birds that roll in the
way described, birds which are really worthy of being called rollers.
There are dozens of ways in which birds roll, but only one way that appeals
to and attracts the attention of a real lover of a quality roller.
To get a kit of rollers together takes some time and patience. Firstly, the
selection and breeding and the fixing of a strain covers a period of years.
Tumbler breeders are aware of this, although it would seem that some of them
will not be educated to know what a good bird is, or they will not go to the
trouble to cultivate the real roller.
They appear to be content to keep, breed, and fly birds that are in their
opinion, more likely to win them a few shillings. They thereby deceive not
only themselves but also the public, that their pigeons are genuine rollers.
It is quite safe to say that today there are fewer breeders of the true
English Roller, better known as the Birmingham Roller, than there were
twenty years ago.
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