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Carl Naether

in his "The Book of the Pigeon", 1939

    The Turkish Oriental Roller is doubtless the oldest breed of performing flyers, it having received mention in Persian manuscripts of the twelfth century.  Ever since, this pigeon has been bred for its remarkable flying and rolling qualities.  It was first introduced into England about 1870 being considered a distinct variety of the Tumbler, then which it had a longer head and back, a stronger beak, and a flat head.

    The characteristics of the Roller are its long, high tail, consisting of from fourteen to eighteen feathers, one lying over the other in two divisions: its drooping wings, pearl eye, solid color and especially its lack of the oil gland.  The Oriental Roller is a swift flyer which, if trained well, will perform most satisfactorily in kits.  Rarely is the performance of two birds alike.  Most breeders of this fascinating pigeon want birds which spin long, fast and tight, which trick, if performed often, is likely to tire them quickly.  So far as the nature of the roll is concerned, that is, its depth and its frequency, some fanciers prefer short spinning birds in almost constant action, while others favor those with the longer spin.  Performance, that is rolling or spinning, is useless unless the bird has the necessary flying stamina to protect itself against accidents likely to occur during the rolling.

    One characteristic of Oriental Roller performance is its nervous darting during flight.



Dale Husband (Master Breeder)

    To train and fly a kit of Oriental Rollers, you must train them to your loft as soon as you wean them away from their parents. After you have trained the young birds, you should get them into the air as soon as possible.  To do this, you can use some other birds that are homed and that you have flown before.

    Scare these old birds up and throw the young ones up with them.  This can be done by waving a flag on a pole or making a loud noise.  After a few times of this, the birds will fly by themselves when you turn them out.

    It is preferable to keep them on a schedule or regular time of flying and feeding if possible.  When the birds are trained on a schedule, they will fly for about an hour and then come down and go in to eat when you call them, which you can do by whistling or shaking their feed can.

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