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Hambone Hambone is offline
Posted 6th March 2008, 11:32 AM
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Location: Kingman , Arizona
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Question

Why do rollers ... roll ? The truth


What causes Birmingham Rollers and tumbling breeds to roll and tumble ? I read several articles via Internet about the subject , some say its a siezure and a genetic defect in the birds , others say its a trait just as some hunting dogs are pointers and setters and just do what they are bred to do .

I fail to see how it could be a random siezure because they can all do the roll together after lots of flight hours and training . I suppose its possible , but it doesnt make sense to me how they would all do it together UNLESS one bird had a siezure and the others just imitated its actions , then another bird siezed up and was imitated ? Hmm , now I'm thinking too much

Maybe the birds just learned to get a kick out of doing backflips ? LOL .

Those of you that fly these fun birds , whats your take on it ?

Hambone


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bigislerollers bigislerollers is offline
Posted 6th March 2008, 03:55 PM
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Aloha Hambone,

Very good question. No one has really figured out the answer to that question yet.
My take on it is that it's not a genetic defect as some say but a trait that has been bred for. It's a trait like the exteme sense of smell that bloodhounds have. I also do not believe that it's a seizure in the sence of an epileptic seizure, because the birds have shown to be able to control the roll impulse. In fact the birds look as if they enjoy rolling.
I think that this will remain as one of the mysteries of life.
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TheSnipes TheSnipes is offline
Posted 7th March 2008, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigislerollers View Post
I think that this will remain as one of the mysteries of life.
Like how homers home!
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BabbaYagga BabbaYagga is offline
Posted 7th March 2008, 06:21 PM
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Rollers


Ive never owned rollers and I dont know much about them, but have you ever seen pigeons (homing pigeons) do those little swerves, drops and stunts while flying, that look as if they're trying to escape a predator? Maybe that has something to do with the roller trait. What do you think?
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Vasp Vasp is offline
Posted 7th March 2008, 10:43 PM
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Location: Regina, SK, Canada
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I know nothing about roller pigeons. But it seems to me it's an ability they possess for escaping predators quickly, and confusing predators... Or even distracting them... But I'd say they use the skill now to have fun. Homing pigeons sure have fun playing in the wind and flying.
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TheSnipes TheSnipes is offline
Posted 8th March 2008, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasp View Post
I know nothing about roller pigeons. But it seems to me it's an ability they possess for escaping predators quickly, and confusing predators... Or even distracting them... But I'd say they use the skill now to have fun. Homing pigeons sure have fun playing in the wind and flying.
Actually, I think the tumbling/rolling makes them more vulnerable? Which leads to the enormous conflict between birds of prey and roller owners/clubs. Witness the rather large 'undercover' case out west last year. Please correct me if I'm wrong! I think it would confuse me if I was after one...
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Grim Grim is offline
Posted 12th March 2008, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabbaYagga View Post
Ive never owned rollers and I dont know much about them, but have you ever seen pigeons (homing pigeons) do those little swerves, drops and stunts while flying, that look as if they're trying to escape a predator? Maybe that has something to do with the roller trait. What do you think?
I think you have a good point. Maybe a variation of the behavior.
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ND Cooper ND Cooper is offline
Posted 13th March 2008, 09:09 AM
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From what I have read about rollers, I would say that they are bread for their talent, because if they had a problem with their brains, you would think that other bad traits would show up also. Such as, loseing their balance in the loft ect. or whole famlies hitting the ground together, instead of just one.Or just plain going tard after a couple years, in otherwords, getting worse as time gos on, with no cure. Do they have the same life span (Natural) as other pigeons? I've had a r-homer hen that had to live 12 or 13 yrs.
If it's a defect, then you would think that their natural life span would be shorter, and their overall breed, collectively, would not be as successful as other breeds of pigeons.
But, the way mankind has changed pigeon breeds to his likeing, surely rollers are manmade. I don't think that there is one forest of trees somewhere overseas, where they all came from.
Do rollers have more problems ( very noticeable problems ) when the weather is warmer or hot? My 2 cents, ND Cooper
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rsduhamel rsduhamel is offline
Posted 20th December 2008, 03:34 PM
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Is it seizures or is it just fun.


Has anyone ever seen a Birmingham Roller tumble all the way into the ground? The nimrod who wrote this article says they do and is cited at Wikipedia as an authority (where the article says the birds have seizures).

I raised Birmingham Rollers while in high school. I'm convinced they roll because it's fun.
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jbangelfish jbangelfish is offline
Posted 20th December 2008, 05:41 PM
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Location: Roscoe IL
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They do seem to roll for fun


Whether it's really fun to them or not, we're not likely to ever know but it is clear that good rollers and tumblers are able to control it and only do so when they want to.

There are birds that are not able to control it as well and even some that are unable to fly once this rolling tendency takes over. Parlor rollers and parlor tumblers are flightless and only roll across the ground. When they are young, they are able to fly (I never knew this until recently as I never had any desire to have any). I personally consider this cruel and would not raise them for that reason. There are waltzing mice that have an inner ear disorder which disables them from walking anywhere except in a circle. Some consider them amusing, I don't.

Good rollers sometimes produce birds that are not able to control their rolling as well and some do hit the ground. These are called rolldowns and sometimes it kills them. There are also birds that flip once or twice when alarmed or when trying to take off quickly. These were probably bred to together at some point until the parlor birds emerged. I would not consider any of them as a candidate for a breeder when you are trying to breed good rollers but rolldown birds are often bred from as there is a fine line between breeding a very deep roller and a rolldown.

There is an in between breed called Syrian Coop Tumbler which will do these flips inside a flight or coop or low to the ground. I used to raise them and they did OK and did not make the birds which could not fly at all. Whether they occur in the breed at all, I don't know.

Bill
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outcold00 outcold00 is offline
Posted 20th December 2008, 07:18 PM
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I have what I think is a Armenian tumbler that trapped in my loft. It wasnt banded, so I decided to kept it. I fly it with my highflyers and when they fly together he doesnt tumble at all. But when I let him out by himself he tumbles so much that its almost hard for him to fly. I think they roll or tumble because thats what they want to do.
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jbangelfish jbangelfish is offline
Posted 20th December 2008, 09:07 PM
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Location: Roscoe IL
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Do they fly too fast?


In a group of homers, a roller may never roll as they keep moving too fast. Perhaps your highfliers do the same, although many highfliers are closely related to rollers.

Rollers will slow down and stall before rolling. In a group that won't do this, they have no time to roll and the good ones that have control of themselves won't in this situation.

Bill
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RodSD RodSD is offline
Posted 20th December 2008, 09:38 PM
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I think they do it for fun. I forgot what article I've read, but they already did some neurological studies on rollers and they are not defective as people think. Rollers just find rolling exhilarating so they do it--euphoria.
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TheGame TheGame is offline
Posted 21st December 2008, 11:31 PM
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Location: New York
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If it was a seizure then wouldnt they just drop... Some of my Rollers set themselfs up and get into the right position when it comes time to roll.

Also if it was a seizure wouldn't they roll when a BOP is on their tail? Every time my birds have gotten chased they just take off and keep flying no rolling...
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fresnobirdman fresnobirdman is offline
Posted 30th December 2008, 09:44 PM
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they roll cause its a defect.
they have the ability to cramp their back muscle, therefor causing them to do rapid summersults.

and rollers live as long as any other birds.
i have read many roller mens note in other sites that their rollers live to be the most at 17 years.many are blind at this age.
cant fertilize and are stiff in the air.
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