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Discussion Starter #1
I made the decision a little while back to start with Birmingham Rollers. I've been researching it for awhile, attended the World Cup Regionals here, and joined the NBRC. A local NBRC member was kind enough to help me start by breeding some birds for me from his best stock.

More on the birds later, but here is the Kit Box my carpenter friend built for me. I'm really happy with how it turned out:


 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks! Nona, I like the sky light too. My friend found clear plastic for the roof, which is great for the birds, and sturdy too. One side has a shade panel to keep it from getting too hot. And the side opens up too - it has a hardware cloth panel inside...My friend does cabinetry and woodworking for a living so he's a top notch craftsman.

Anyway, here are 5 of the birds, in a settling cage getting used to their surroundings:



I got the remaining three about a week later and still don't have photos. I'm busy training them every night after work and it sure has been an adventure!
 

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Well, that's cute. No one has ever been able to explain to me the purpose of such a small space for these birds.
Homers are kept in a regular loft and can fly for hours if trained properly. Why do Rollers have to be kept in a tiny space like this?
What's the difference in what they do and what a homer does besides the fact that a homer "homes" and a Roller doesn't necessarily? They both can and will fly for hours.
Homers can live in a "regular" loft, chasing thier hens and just doing what pigeons do and still fly 400, 500 and even 600 miles with no problem.
Rollers, as far as I know, go up high and roll down and I guess they do this for long periods of time, except they tend to stick close to home. So they do their flying in a semi-local location rather than across many miles.
Homers fly in "flocks" or "kits" if you will. I understand that Rollers fly in "flocks" or "kits".
So, has anyone told YOU why this is? I just don't understand why it's ok to keep 6 or 8 or however many Rollers in a space this small, but if someone comes here and posted a picture of something like your kit box and told us they had 6 or 8 homers in there, we'd very quickly tell them they were overcrowding thier birds. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So, has anyone told YOU why this is? I just don't understand why it's ok to keep 6 or 8 or however many Rollers in a space this small, but if someone comes here and posted a picture of something like your kit box and told us they had 6 or 8 homers in there, we'd very quickly tell them they were overcrowding thier birds. :confused:
I don't know. But I can say that the competition kits I have seen while learning about the Roller sport have seemed healthy, happy, well cared for, and well-adjusted. If they didn't I would not have gotten into this. I definitely had the same concerns at first.

The birds are generally wintered over in a regular loft, while the weather is such that they can't fly daily. Which is why I am trying to save enough room in my new loft for the kit to move in come November.

Also worth noting: Birmingham Rollers are about 1/2 the size of Homers. Not that it makes a huge difference...
 
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from what I have read in other places and was lead to believe is that they are confined in smaller coops to keep them quiet to conserve their energy for when out and about flying but I could be wrong ,never understood it myself :eek:
 

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Well, I certainly don't know all the ins and outs of this, but roller folks DO keep their birds in kit boxes and the one Karen has looks TERRIFIC. I think we need Dexter here and Velo99 and any of our other roller folk .. can't remember if Ezemaxima has rollers or not ..

Renee .. the roller folk do keep them differently than the racer folk ..

Terry
 

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Aloha Karen,
That is a nice kit box.
One question. Do you have vents on the backside near the top?? I ask this because the way that the roof slopes, thats where the hotter air will collect and some vent holes there will keep the box a lot cooler. I also like the wire floors as this will also help with ventilation.
A lot of roller flyers use smaller and darker kitboxes than yours and the birds do quite well. Looks like you did your homework before jumping in, good for you. Just remember, the best place to get information on how to manage your birds is from the person you got your birds from, so don't be afraid to ask questions.
Good luck and happy flying.:)
 

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Aloha Karen,
That is a nice kit box.
One question. Do you have vents on the backside near the top?? I ask this because the way that the roof slopes, thats where the hotter air will collect and some vent holes there will keep the box a lot cooler. I also like the wire floors as this will also help with ventilation.
A lot of roller flyers use smaller and darker kitboxes than yours and the birds do quite well. Looks like you did your homework before jumping in, good for you. Just remember, the best place to get information on how to manage your birds is from the person you got your birds from, so don't be afraid to ask questions.
Good luck and happy flying.:)
Hi Dexter,
The box does have vent holes near the roof in the back - 3 large ones that are covered with hardware cloth to keep predators out.

I have definitely been in touch with the person who gave me the birds - probably driving him crazy with all of my questions, lol. He has been very patient.
 

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Aloha Karen,

That was the only concern that I had about the kit box. I really like the side panel that opens to hold your settling cage. Very sharp.....

So how did you like the World Cup competition?

Here in Hawaii we are lucky to be the last stop for the World Cup and the Fall Fly judges and get to hear first hand the judges evaluation of the kits flown. I was really lucky to be able to house the World Cup Judge, Eldon Cheney, at my home for a night, and got to learn a lot from him.

Good luck with your birds and happy flying.
 

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Aloha Karen,

That was the only concern that I had about the kit box. I really like the side panel that opens to hold your settling cage. Very sharp.....

So how did you like the World Cup competition?

Here in Hawaii we are lucky to be the last stop for the World Cup and the Fall Fly judges and get to hear first hand the judges evaluation of the kits flown. I was really lucky to be able to house the World Cup Judge, Eldon Cheney, at my home for a night, and got to learn a lot from him.

Good luck with your birds and happy flying.
The World Cup was exciting! For the first round, the judge let me hold the score pad and write the scores down. My heart was racing - trying to keep track of the "out" birds and the scores at the same time.

I got to meet Eldon Cheney too - at the finals. He showed me how to judge a bird by the way it flexes in the hand, and how to look at the length of the flights vs. tail. I wished I wasn't such a newbie so I could've learned more from him, but my questions at this point are all so basic...

Not sure if I will ever compete, but I will definitely attend the Fall Fly & next year's World Cup. It's great fun to see everyone's lofts and watch their birds...see how everyone has their own style.
 

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Well, that's cute. No one has ever been able to explain to me the purpose of such a small space for these birds.
Homers are kept in a regular loft and can fly for hours if trained properly. Why do Rollers have to be kept in a tiny space like this?
What's the difference in what they do and what a homer does besides the fact that a homer "homes" and a Roller doesn't necessarily? They both can and will fly for hours.
Homers can live in a "regular" loft, chasing thier hens and just doing what pigeons do and still fly 400, 500 and even 600 miles with no problem.
Rollers, as far as I know, go up high and roll down and I guess they do this for long periods of time, except they tend to stick close to home. So they do their flying in a semi-local location rather than across many miles.
Homers fly in "flocks" or "kits" if you will. I understand that Rollers fly in "flocks" or "kits".
So, has anyone told YOU why this is? I just don't understand why it's ok to keep 6 or 8 or however many Rollers in a space this small, but if someone comes here and posted a picture of something like your kit box and told us they had 6 or 8 homers in there, we'd very quickly tell them they were overcrowding thier birds. :confused:
Good question Lovebirds.

I believe its to make sure that the birds don't pair up, as they believe the sex drive will make these birds perform less.
I know that tippler fanciers also keep the birds in kit boxes, sometimes only one bird per box, and the bird stays locked up there the time which it aint out flying, some even keep them in there all winter!

In a homing pigeon you want to increase the sex drive so that the homer will fly home as quickly as possible to unite with its mate, while in a high flier or tippler the sex drive will make the cocks clap their wings etc etc and waste energy doing that. I dunno if that apply to rollers as well.


I keep my high fliers just the way you keep your homers, they fly around in the loft, in and out of the aviary etc etc. I do have experienced a problem trying to fly some of these birds though, the first few times you let cocks out they will be too eager to fly back inside to their hen, but once they have been in air for a few days they will get back to flying for long hours, and forget all about the hens. Sometimes flying the pair together actually gives you more time in air.


I have also heard that people keep these birds in kit boxes to make the birds kit tighter. So once released the birds will be so happy to see their mates, that they will keep flying together. Also they get sick of the tight space, and will be happy once they get a chance to step outside. Guess its like keeping some sled dogs locked up, and once u let them out they just wanna run run and run. Whether this makes any sense, I have no idea.
 

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OMG I love this, I just got my first pair of rollers and Im keeping them in a large parrot cage what is the size of this thing i would love to build something similar.
 

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Well, that's cute. No one has ever been able to explain to me the purpose of such a small space for these birds.
Homers are kept in a regular loft and can fly for hours if trained properly. Why do Rollers have to be kept in a tiny space like this?
What's the difference in what they do and what a homer does besides the fact that a homer "homes" and a Roller doesn't necessarily? They both can and will fly for hours.
Homers can live in a "regular" loft, chasing thier hens and just doing what pigeons do and still fly 400, 500 and even 600 miles with no problem.
Rollers, as far as I know, go up high and roll down and I guess they do this for long periods of time, except they tend to stick close to home. So they do their flying in a semi-local location rather than across many miles.
Homers fly in "flocks" or "kits" if you will. I understand that Rollers fly in "flocks" or "kits".
So, has anyone told YOU why this is? I just don't understand why it's ok to keep 6 or 8 or however many Rollers in a space this small, but if someone comes here and posted a picture of something like your kit box and told us they had 6 or 8 homers in there, we'd very quickly tell them they were overcrowding thier birds. :confused:
I'm still pretty new to pigeon keeping, but I have been doing all the research I can on the subject, with my primary focus on Birmingham Rollers (what I keep). There appear to be two basic reasons for keeping BRs in a kitbox rather than a loft, although they are usually bred in lofts and spend most of their lives in lofts. The kitboxes are for kits, or flying teams.

First, being in an enclosed space, they are discouraged from flying except when they are released to fly. BRs do not usually fly for hours at a time, but for less than an hour. When competing, the birds must stay up for twenty minutes. Many rollers that I have seen will fly for ten minutes or less, and then want to land to rest/eat/drink (one fancier told me "Birmingham Rollers are just lazy birds). Restricting them from flying except when released, helps improve the birds' endurance, and extends the duration of the flight.

The second reason to keep them in a kitbox is to keep them confined and in the dark. Granted, this is controversial, and not subscribed to by all roller trainers. The idea is that if the birds are kept in the dark most of the time, and in close proximity to their fellow kitbox residents, they will kit better - stay closer together while flying, and rejoin the kit quicker after rolling. Again, every roller trainer doesn't believe this theory, but there are some that swear their success in competition depends on it.

As a new roller keeper, I figured I would give it a try, and see how it works. My kitbox can be seen at this thread. (I haven't figured out yet how to repost a picture in a new thread:confused:) http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f38/my-loft-coop-45875.html
 
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