Attributes of Good Kit Birds

by Steve Agent; August 2002

1. They must kit and kit tight. Kit of Birmingham Rollers in flight
2. They must spin, preferably when others spin.
3. If they spin alone, they should cut the spin off shorter than if they spun with the kit. Basically, if they are 30′ they should stop around 15′.
4. If they have the kitting instinct they will cut the roll off (as needed).
5. If they did not spin and some of the others did, they should wait for the others to catch up instead of continuing the fly pattern creating a large gap between them. Read More

Birmingham Roller Origins

by Tom Monson; Copyright 2002
published with permission from author

Ancient Roller Origins

The ancient origins of the roller pigeon are shrouded in mystery and conjecture. The roller performs as it does because it has inherited a gene for rolling (the “ro” gene). No, this gene doesn’t make rollers perform perfectly. It causes them to exhibit a tumbling reflex. Certain suspected additive genes, proper type, physique, and a unique mental endowment are required before a pigeon can utilize the “ro” gene to perform like a true Birmingham Roller. No one knows just when the “ro” gene mutated to become a part of the pigeon genetic compendium, or whether it might have mutated in more than one pigeon on more than one originating occasion. Read More

Balance Breeding

by Steven Agent, 2011
published with permission from author

I must start with hard and soft feather classifications. In my family, the hard colors are blue check and blue bar self or flights. The soft colors are white, yellow, recessive red, lavender, grizzles, torts, mottles and blacks.

The first factor I consider when selecting pairs is feather quality. I try to always put a hard-feathered bird with a soft-feathered bird, as long as they are not too closely related. What I mean by too closely related is mother/son, father/daughter and brother/sister. Read More

The Three Pigments

by Frank Mosca, Copyright 2000
published with permission from author

Domestic pigeons have three different feather pigments: brown, black and red. Despite our common pigeon terminology usage, there is no blue pigment in pigeons. The reason we’ve always used the term is because when the black pigment is clumped together in the cells of the feathers, it refracts the light in such a way that we see a bluish tinge. Note the wingshield of the blue bar. This is why W.F. Hollander decided to designate the wild-type pigment as blue/black. Read More

Basic Pigeon Care

by Frank Mosca, August 2002
published with permission from author

This article is not intended to be a complete thesis on the care of pigeons in all circumstances or times. It is merely designed as something to answer a beginner’s basic questions to keeping pigeons alive and healthy. There are many pathways to the same end, but, all have similar building blocks. I have purposely not added lots of pics and links to this article to make it more printer friendly for you.

All pigeons, regardless of breed, have certain needs. These include food, water, and shelter. The type of shelter would depend on your local environmental conditions.  Read More