pigeon rolling?

Submitted by kevin on 11/9/04 at 7:50 PM. ( )

I read a news article today about a sport called "Pigeon Rolling."
A contest was held in a town called chapin,illinois. The object of
this contest is to roll a pigeon as great a distance as possible.
This is done by releasing the pigeon like you would a bowling ball
and measuring the distance it rolls. the winning distance was 170 plus
Is this something done elsewhere or just in illinois? I had never
heard of this before.

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This response submitted by Glen Conley on 11/9/04 at 8:14 PM. ( temporarily unavailable )

are you sure that wasn't a Midget Toss?

What you read about would be what is known as Parlor Rollers, but unless something new has happened, the birds are normally sent into rolling by a clap of the hands.

Old breed of pigeons. There are also Parlor Rollers that do feet to feet flips, and are classified by the number of flips that they take before stopping. Those come in one, two, and three flip models.

There are also some aerial versions. These were named after the Birmingham, England from which they originated. A strain that has been kept pure since the first importations by a fellow by the name of William Pensom still exists today. That strain bears his name.
The rollers actually roll downward periodically while in flight.

The ones that splatter are called roll downs.

There is also some breeds known as tumblers, aerial again, but they just simply do a cart wheel like flip while in the air.

Nancy, want to add more?

kind of

This response submitted by Mr. T on 11/9/04 at 8:22 PM. ( )

I'm no president, but I think that these are flightless birds that are trained or bread to roll on the ground. Saw it once on TV. Check it out on the web.


This response submitted by kevin on 11/9/04 at 8:27 PM. ( )

I have the article here and it says this breed of pigeon is from
india originally and is trained to roll. It says that this breed of
pigeon is unable to fly at 4 months old and flip when they flap
their wings.
They are then trained to roll continuously, and are entered into
the article states a guy named Gary Richardson of murrayville,il
has a recorded distance of rolling a pigeon 202 feet,8 inches.


This response submitted by Glen on 11/9/04 at 8:58 PM. ( )

in a past lifetime, I had shown the Pensom Rollers. At that time, there would be "some" Parlor Rollers, and Parlor Tumblers periodically show up.

What few of them there were at that time had been pretty much passed down through families. Back then, a bird that could come close to thirty feet would almost be a guaranteed winner.

With you pointing out India as being the country of origin, and those distances measured, sounds to me like maybe there's been more importation.

C'mon, Nancy M., get on this thread and get us all brought up to date.

You covered it pretty well already

This response submitted by Nancy M. on 11/10/04 at 12:13 AM. ( )

Parlor rollers have become pretty popular since I first saw some about 20+ years ago. Authorities differ on what makes them roll, but apparently they have an inherited inner ear problem. For rolling contests they are placed on the ground facing the handler and then the person claps his/her hands loudly. Whenever the birds try to fly they put their heads back on their rumps and flap their wings in front of them. The result is that they spin rapidly along the ground, going backwards, completely out of control, until they either get tired, calm down, or hit something. (When not trying to fly they act perfectly normal.)
The best "performers" are birds that are very nervous by nature, so I think the temperment of the breed has deteriorated considerably from the nice, friendly flying rollers that they originally descended from. Just my opinion.
People (especially kids) like them because they are a very small dove-like variety, come in every known pigeon color, even the rare colors, and breed quite prolifically as long as they can nest on the floor of the pen and be protected from predators. Also, of course, they never EVER fly away.
A bird that rolls 60 feet is a very good one. A roll in excess of 150 feet is extraordinary.
Most large pigeon shows will have parlor rollers represented, and they will be expected to perform as part of being judged.
The good ones often have bald spots on their heads from spinning along on hard ground and I was surprised to find out that they don't lose any show points for this. It's ALL about performance for them.
There are a lot of different types of performing pigeons. They do everything from aerial cartwheels and spins to high-speed power dives from 1000 feet up. Racing homers are considered a performance breed too.

While right side up, if one of MY show pigeons had skin showing anyplace other than its eyelids or cere it would be a very serious fault! But then, all mine ever do is stand around and look cute. And eat. And poop. And eat. And moult. And eat. ...... a lot.


This response submitted by Evelyn on 11/10/04 at 8:06 AM. ( )

that's what you are suppose to roll. Womperdingers. But for those you have to go to the German Alps. That's the only place where they are left due to overrolling in the past. Maybe they have to substitue pidgeon for them now? Hm.

Very Rare

This response submitted by Tony Finazzo on 11/10/04 at 11:02 AM. ( )

These birds were bred for the rolling or tumbling trait. This was a form of not so natural selection. As a teenager(more than ten years ago) I had some rollers and and some called parlor tumblers. The rollers were quite prolific and breeding was never a problem, but the tumblers were another story. The rollers did their tumbling in the air. The most desireable were the ones that rolled many times in a row. This had a reverse Darwin effect, because every time you got a really good one it would tumble too far and crash. There went all the genes on the sidewalk and you had to start over. But, the Parlor Tumblers had another delema. When trying to breed the males would get excited and do a couple of back flips right off his mate and copulation was tough to achieve. I had a cousin with some affliction that had the same problem. So, he never had any kids.

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