Study of Feeding Roller Pigeons by Mike Allen
There are many fliers of the Birmingham Roller who feed only wheat and some of them do very well in developing kits of good rollers either for their own enjoyment or for competition. I am going to attempt to explain what I have discovered about what works for the family of birds I fly. I have had this family for more than a decade.
Wheat makes up approximately 70% of my birds diet and I supplement or add to the wheat depending on what I see in their performance and how they feel in my hand. The following are the grains I use; why I use them; and at what quantity they are used. I will also explain how the bird’s performance is changed by the use of each grain.
Barley calms them down and slows their wing beat and I will use 5% to 10% of the mix depending how they react. In other words I use 5% of their mix barley and will increase it to as high as 10% to get them slowed up to the speed that induces the best performance.
Milo has a mineral that no other grain has and is a boost for the energy levels that the kit has to have to give you the frequency that you want to see in your kit of a minimum of breaking once a minute and up. A good high value Birmingham Roller can easily give you 40 breaks in 20 minutes. I use only 5 to 10 % of milo in the total mix. I always have 5% milo in the mix, but will increase it to 10% to get the frequency level I desire.
Austrian Peas is the main protein ingredient of the mix. It will improve the quality of breaks and develops the muscle needed to achieve the proper roll. It is about strength that gives the result of having that proper form of the roll. It too will help in slowing down the fly speed of the birds. I am feeding about 10% of the mix as peas.
I feed millet in very small amounts of about a teaspoon for 20 birds. In the correct amount they can be moved up to a favorable height for observation and judging. Too much and they will quickly be out of sight flying like a bullet to get to that height.
I use whole corn to augment the feed in the winter. I use good ol’ dent corn and not popcorn. Rollers can eat the large dent corn just fine
I also use cod liver oil. It is of course not a grain, but an animal byproduct. It helps them when in molt and I will add it to the feed mix up until April. About a cap full to about five pounds of feed mix and then hand stir it around thoroughly.
Never forget to put a good grit down for the birds and keep clean fresh water for them.
None of these percentages stated above are 100 percent and will fluctuate from loft to loft and as the seasons changes. You make adjustments a little at a time until you attain the performance you desire.