PERFORMING ROLLER PIGEONS
Some of the most frequently asked questions : How do I get started? Where do I get good birds? How many birds do I need? What should I pay for birds? Let me try to answer some of these for you.
THIS IS NOT AN ADVERTISEMENTFirst let me say this is not an advertisement for selling birds. I sell very few birds, to a very select group of people and I am not interested in changing that. What I would like to do here, is to pass on some of my 35 years experience of raising these fantastic little birds. A lot of people starting out run into so many pitfalls that they get frustrated because they spend lots of money & lots of years & end up with the birds they have not living up to their expectations or going through family after family of birds.
IN MY OPINIONFirst off there are, in my opinion, several different groups of Roller people. I feel you need to find out which one you want to start in before you start buying birds or start bringing birds home that may or may not meet your expectations. There is nothing wrong with any of them, but I feel you should figure out where you want to start before you acquire birds. You can always move from group to group but the quality of your birds may change with your movement.
Number 1 is the Pigeon Keeper.The Pigeon Keeper is not a very competitive person. They love the birds & collect birds from every where. They normally don't fly out of a kit box. They don't keep good records & really don"t care where their birds came from or what pairs they came out of. They will fly everything in the loft & usually fly their birds from an open loft. They will take birds from anyone that says they have Rollers. The prettier the better.
Number 2 is the Backyard Roller Keeper.The Backyard Roller Keeper may or may not have quality Rollers. Some people that raise good Rollers just don't like competitions. They are content to come home from work every evening & kick out a kit of Rollers for their own enjoyment. I was a member of this group for 25 years. This group may or may not keep good records & may or may not have quality birds.
Number 3 is the Pedigree Chaser.The Pedigree Chaser has pedigrees that go back to when the birds came over from England or show how close the family of Birds are bred or that they came from some legends loft. If I were just starting out I would prefer birds with Pedigees. The only problem with this is that if all the people on that pedigree didn't breed in individual breeding pens then the pedigree is worthless. A performing Rollers worth comes from what that bird does in the air or in the breeding loft not who raised it or who its ancestors are. A lot of people in this group don't fly in competitions. Pedigrees are good to have for Breeding purpose's. I prefer birds with Pedigree's but Pedigree's will not make the Birds roll. I have been in this Group also.
Number 4 is the Competitor.The Competitor comes in many forms. You have the Local Club competitor, the World Cup Competitor & the Wanna Be Competitor. Most, but not all, Competitors are always trying to improve their birds. To have success in competitions you have to be able to put a lot of time in your birds. The successful Competitor spends lots of time with their birds & keeps very good records. Normally they have a very close line bred or inbred family of birds. Their birds are usually the best quality birds of all the groups. You can buy into this group but without a lot of work & a willingness to learn all you can about your birds you can quickly become a Wanna Be. You can find the True Competitor standing in the backyard in all types of weather with his eyes to the sky watching his kit & taking notes. Neighbor's normally think these guys may have one tire stuck in the mud.
WHERE DO I FITThese are just a few of the different types of Roller people. I won't even get into Egos & Feather Merchants. Now if you are just starting out maybe you can find a group that you want to start in. Remember you can move from group to group any time you want. As for prices of birds in these groups, I'll give you an idea but this is only my opinion of prices. These prices are the max. that I would pay for birds out of these groups. Number 1 ($2 to $5 max.) Number 2 ($5 to $10) Number 3 ($10 to $20) (Probably ask more) Number 4 ($15 for young birds up to$25) (Breeders & holdovers from a successful Competitor may range from $20 to$150 depending on the flyers sucess) Now don't get me wrong there are some good birds out there for free but remember very few people will give you their best for nothing. For the most part, You get what you pay for. Never buy birds without watching them fly. Visit all the lofts you can before making any decisions. Birds from different families may not mix or fly well together.
JOIN A CLUB: LOCAL, STATE, NATIONALThere are 3 or 4 National clubs out there you can join, many State clubs & a countless number of local clubs. The NBRC (Thats National Birmingham Roller Club) has a website as well as my State club (Oklahoma Performing Roller Association) Through one of these Organizations they can tell you who you can contact in your area. The Roller Journal (published by Dave Ghreke) is the best Roller magazine going.
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