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pigeon Self Discipline pigeons
By Jerry Higgins

Birmingham Roller! There has been enough written about this bird to fill a library. I think I have read most of what has been written in my twenty plus years in the sport, and you probably have too. How much of what has been written have you put into practice?

To be a good roller man is simple. Start with good birds that YOU HAVE SEEN ROLL, keep them clean and fed, and fly them regular. Pick the best spinners and breed them together and keep good records. Now that doesnít sound too difficult to do! But for some reason not many have the discipline to do these few simple things.

It takes self discipline to set a goal and work towards that goal, and in rollers you must start out with a goal in mind.

A few years ago, I realized that my rollers were not as frequent as I would like them to be. To compete in such high class competition flyís as the World Cup, I would need to do something about this problem. I set a goal to resolve this problem. This was my five year plan. I am in the fourth year of this program and after the second year could start to see some improvement. My point is, set some goals for yourself and have the self discipline to stick with it.

"Self Discipline", I wish there was a pill we could take to induce self discipline. I have seen many who write articles such as this and give the best advice on how to handle the Birmingham Roller, but donít have the self discipline to take their own advice. I could write for a week and not improve on what they have written, but putting such good advice into practice is something else.

How many times have you heard someone say "Keep the best and cull the rest". How many people do you think fly their rollers, and watch the kit and then kill the front flier that turns the kit just before the break, or the bird that rushes to the front and locks its wings just before the kit breaks?

To fly a good kit, you must have the self discipline to watch the kit, and see what is happening and make a correction. You can still fly some good individual birds without doing this, but to fly a good KIT you must know what is going on in the kit. You must have the self discipline to watch the kit and the knowledge to know what makes a good kit. The best way to get this knowledge is to go to as many kit competitions as you can. Ask questions and be smart enough to learn from the good kit fliers.

Good kits are built by putting together a team of Birmingham Rollers that work together and compliment each other. The best kit is not always the person who is the best trainer, the person who works the hardest and that will be the person who has the most self discipline.

Some people are pigeon keepers and some are true roller fanciers. Most of you Know what I am talking about. You know the person who has two kit boxes and 50 pair of breeders, or the person that has rollers and 4 or 5 other kinds of pigeons. I have no bones to pick with these people, but these people canít be successful unless they are retired and work at raising and training rollers full time. Be honest with yourself, which do you want to be, a successful roller man that is a threat to win in the kit competition or a pigeon keeper who just enjoys having rollers and other birds? The decision is yours.

Flying competition is FUN, but it takes work to make it fun. You canít get ready for a competition fly the day before the competition. Flying competition is fun when you are at a competitive level. Competition is fun when you know you have a chance to win. Itís when you know you have worked your birds to the point, with a little luck, you could be the winner. This is what makes kit competition fun.

Competition also takes guts, when the kit box door opens and the birds form up for all to see, then the B.S. is over. You can brag before, but now it is the time for the truth, how brave are you? Are you a talker, a B.S.íer or a competitor, you are the one to make that decision.

Donít kid yourself we all know who are the talkers and who are the real "True Masters of the Birmingham Rollers" they are the winners, they are the ones who we want to go see their birds, they are the ones we want to get a few good birds to put with our family, they are the ones we want to see on fly day. They are the ones to compare our kits to.
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