to the preservation of the Oriental Roller as a Flying -
Flying Oriental Roller
are many false ideas about the Oriental Roller in this
country. Some are so prevalent that the false idea is taken
for fact and is “common knowledge” in the pigeon fancy.
Many of these ideas have been around for some time and are
usually regarded as true because it appeared in print at some
time or an opinion leader in the pigeon fancy said it is so.
Some of the ideas are relatively new but just as untenable. A
few of the more common false ideas about the breed are listed
below with an attempt at correcting them.
Rollers don’t kit. They are individual performers.”
This is the most common falsehood about the breed! I
have listened to more than a few fanciers describe how
they’ve seen Oriental Rollers fly all over the sky and never
kit. Maybe there is or was a strain of Oriental Roller without
kitting ability that I’m not familiar with. Oriental Rollers
were kit pigeons back in the late 60’s when I first flew
them. More recently, I’ve flown just about every strain
available in this country and some from recent imports out of
the Middle East and Europe. All fly in kits. Oriental Rollers
have a strong instinct to kit. So much so that one weak flier
in the kit will bring the entire team down. Oriental Roller
kits are loose with the lead pigeon constantly changing. There
is a nervous shifting and flitting in the kit and if the team
is too large the kit may break up into two or three individual
kits but eventually re-group into one team. A kit of Oriental
Rollers appear rough and rowdy in the air compared to the
orderly, regimented appearance of a kit of Birmingham Rollers.
None the less, they do kit and should kit well.
only flip over once or twice” or “There is no velocity to
their roll” etc. These
and other ideas are performance related. There are very few
fanciers in this country with substantial experience flying
the breed but there are many that know all about how the breed
is a mediocre performer. The fact is there are all sorts of
styles, depths and velocities in the roll seen in the Oriental
Roller. Some of
the deepest rollers I’ve seen have been Oriental Rollers.
They can also spin with high velocity though I’d stop short
of saying they are as fast as the best Birmingham Rollers.
Oriental Rollers generally perform to their full
potential when flown in kits of their own kind and the kit
performance can be spectacular.
Rollers are only popular in Utah.” While
it is true that the State of Utah and more specifically the
Salt Lake City area has long been a hot bed for Oriental
Rollers since at least the mid-1930’s, the breed has had a
following as a flying breed in other sections of the country.
Fanciers were at least semi-active working with the performing
type Oriental Roller in parts of the Mid-West and on both
coasts prior to 1995. Currently the breed is found in most
parts of the country.
breed was developed somewhere in Europe.” How
this idea came into being I can’t say. I’ve been hearing
this lately and it is patently false. The Oriental Roller is
an ancient breed originating somewhere in Asia Minor or in the
Middle East and can still be found in these regions. It is
documented that some of the first imports of the breed into
this country came out of Turkey and shipped to a zoo in New
York in the late 1920’s. In 1998, I received a few pairs
directly from the Middle East in and these are nearly
identical in type our flying/performing Oriental Rollers.
Rollers are physically weak due to the lack of an
oil-gland.” Or “..when they get wet, the feathers
get water logged due to no oil-duct” etc. It is
true Oriental Rollers have no oil duct. In fact if the pigeon
does have an oil duct it is definitely not an Oriental Roller.
However, the lack of an oil duct has no apparent ill effect on
the pigeon. The absence of the oil duct may be compensated for
by the over abundance of oil quills common in the breed. These
pigeons can appear to get more water soaked only because the
flying feathers are proportionally longer than in many other
flying breeds and not
because of a lack of oils. The Oriental Roller is an
exceptionally sturdy breed that is long lived and seems
resistant to many pigeon diseases.
Oriental Rollers have or should have neck or head tremors and
this is a desirable trait in the breed.”
Yes, some specimens of Oriental Roller shake their
necks to some degree or another. However, the issue of this
trait being desirable is at least questionable. None of the
Oriental Rollers from the recent imports out of Germany and
the Middle East are neck shakers. Neck shaking appears from
time to time in my stock as a recessive trait. In 1997 I bred
for the trait and in 1998 I flew 6 young birds with visible
neck tremors. Every one of these rolled down. So, it seems
that neck shaking is definitely not a desirable trait as far
as my Oriental Rollers are concerned. This trait in another
strain might be fine.
to see what you see and not what someone tells you to see.*