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A First in Oriental Rollers

Brown has not previously existed in the breed - It does now!!!

Brown spread female & Het. Brown almond cock (R)
Photo taken in 2008

 2 yr. old Spread Brown Hen  (0,1) -- left
 1 yr old  Heterozygous Brown Almond Cock (1,0)  - right

A brief history of brown in Oriental Roller Pigeons
Frank Mosca

I made my original cross using a "Tuffy" Oriental roller cоck that I'd bred from birds I was given as gifts by Dale Husband X a Spread brown baldhead flying West of England hen that I found in a feed store.  She had very short muffs.  Originally, I took her home because she looked so pathetic I took pity on her and I figured I'd just use her as a feeder for my Oriental Rollers.  I settled her to the loft and flew her.  Once she was in the air and healthy, I found that she tumbled.   She would go over in about two or three tumbles, then fly and repeat -- the classic pattern for West of England Tumblers.  She was also a fun bird in the loft and friendly. 

Honestly, I did the original cross for two reasons.  First - I just happen to really like the look of brown spread (self brown) birds and I thought that the deep, rich cocoa color would look great on Oriental Rollers.   Second, I considered it to be my personal "apology" to the breed and to some of my pigeon buddies.   In my "infinite brilliance", I'd blown off serious questions that my friends including George DeLa Nuez, J.P. Isom, John Skistimas and others who'd bred the birds even longer than them had asked me about "buff" and "tuff" back in the 80's.  I just "knew" it was some brown variant, even though they insisted to me that it wasn't and couldn't be since there was no brown in OR's and the birds that they bred showed no evidence of sex-linkage as brown would.   I harumphed and went on totally secure in my ignorance.  When I got my own birds in the 90's, I realized they were right and that "buff" and "tuff" were unique and I fell in love not only with the breed but with those colors in it and I began to seriously work with them from a genetics stand point.  Then we found out about "ember". So adding brown was sort of my personal redemption, if you will.  Since then, the "evil" part of me has occasionally snickered at the thought that I may now be the source of confusion for future breeders for a hundreds of years down the line.
I raised a couple of cоcks heterozygous for brown from that original mating.  Both were just minorly groused and I flew them to be sure they rolled.  J.P. and I were both rather shocked at how much the cocks looked to be Oriental Roller and how well they did in the air - though both were rather tall in leg.   Then I lost my house due to deaths in my family.  I gave one of the heterozygous cocks  to J. P. Isom, who's been working with the line since then. The pictures above indicate just how well he's done.  With lots of backcrosses into OR's, he's gotten some beautiful birds.  He's also totally responsible for creating the gorgeous het brown almond cоcks.  He has birds even better looking than this now to.   J.P.'s done a fantastic job though some difficult circumstances and two moves and I'm looking forward to seeing the birds both in the show room and in the air.  At some point, I'm going to get him to write exactly what he did to get where he is today.  The only problem for me is I can not decide now which I like better - self brown or brown almond!

Frank Mosca