Oriental Roller Pigeon

The Oriental Roller pigeon is a breed of domestic fancy pigeon from United Kingdom. It is highly common in it’s native area and actually was developed over many years of selective breeding.

This breed along with other varieties of domesticated pigeons, all are descendants from the rock pigeon.

It is also known by some other names such as Turkish Oriental Roller and Flying Oriental Roller. It is mainly a flying breed, but there are also some breeders who are interested in breeding them for show rather than flying performance.

The breed was actually developed in the 1870s, and it was one the varieties used for developing today’s popular Birmingham Roller Pigeon. However, read some more information about the breed below.

Oriental Roller Pigeon Full Information

The Oriental Roller pigeon is a large breed and long-winged. The breed lack an oil duct and, instead, seem to have an abundance of oil quills in their plumage. They also have13-20 feathers in their tail, compared to the average pigeon variety, which has about 12.

Average body height of the mature Oriental Roller pigeon is between 32 and 34 cm. And average live body weight of the mature birds vary from 280 to 400 grams.

History

The exact origins of the Oriental Roller Pigeon are unknown, but it is believed to have originated in the Middle East. The breed was developed for its tumbling flight, which was prized as a form of entertainment.

The bird was brought to Europe in the 18th century and quickly gained popularity among breeders. Today, the breed is recognized by many pigeon fancier organizations and is kept for its unique appearance and flight patterns.

Physical Characteristics

The Oriental Roller Pigeon is a medium-sized pigeon that typically weighs between 300-400 grams. It has a short, rounded body with a short neck and a small head. The beak is short and stout, and the eyes are large and round.

The most distinctive feature of this breed is its feathering. The feathers are thick, soft, and lie close to the body. The bird has a ruffled appearance, with feathers that are longer and thicker on the neck, chest, and belly.

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The plumage can be of various colors, including white, black, red, blue, and brown.

Behavior

The Oriental Roller Pigeon is a social bird and is often kept in groups. It is known for its tumbling flight, which is a result of a genetic trait that causes the bird to roll backward in the air.

The rolling flight can be induced by various factors, including the presence of other birds or a sudden loud noise. It is important to note that not all birds of this breed exhibit this behavior, and it may take some training to encourage the rolling flight.

Breeding

Breeding Oriental Roller Pigeons requires careful selection of breeding pairs to ensure that the offspring exhibit the desired physical and behavioral traits.

The breeding process can be challenging, as not all birds will exhibit the tumbling flight behavior. Breeders must also consider genetic factors, as some birds may carry undesirable traits that can be passed on to the offspring.

Health and Care

Like all domestic pigeons, the Oriental Roller Pigeon requires proper care and attention to maintain good health. It is important to provide a clean and spacious living environment, with plenty of room to fly and exercise.

The bird’s diet should consist of a balanced mix of grains, seeds, and vegetables. Owners should also monitor the bird’s health closely and seek veterinary care if any signs of illness or injury are observed.

Uses

Oriental Roller pigeons are excellent flyers, and they are raised primarily for flying purpose.

Special Notes

The Oriental Roller pigeon is a very strong breed of domestic pigeon. It is excellent flyer, and can fly as individuals or as part of a team.

Although these birds can sometimes perform in a nervous, darting manner in flight, but they are not nervous birds. Most people agree that it is a confident, and sometimes even a bold or somewhat aggressive pigeon.

And it may sometimes hold itself aloof from other pigeon breeds. But in most cases, these birds are not afraid of people, and they can easily be trained to fly to their owner for treats or just for attention.

The breed is also pretty good for raising as pets. Lifespan of the Oriental Roller pigeon is average, like most other domestic pigeon breeds. It’s lifespan on average is between 7 and 10 years.

However, review full breed profile of the Oriental Roller pigeon in the following chart.

Breed NameOriental Roller
Other NameTurkish Oriental Roller and Flying Oriental Roller
Breed PurposeMainly flying, also show, ornamental and pets
Special NotesBeautiful birds, very hardy and active, strong, excellent flyer, love human company, good for show purpose, and also good for raising as pets
Breed ClassMedium to large
Weight280 to 400 grams
Climate ToleranceNative climates
Flying AbilityExcellent
As PetsGood
ColorMany
RarityCommon
Country/Place of OriginUnited Kingdom

Interesting Facts about Oriental Roller Pigeons

Here are some interesting facts about Oriental Roller Pigeons, including their physical characteristics, behavior, breeding, and history.

1. Origin

The Oriental Roller Pigeon is believed to have originated in the Middle East, but its exact origins are unknown. The breed was developed for its tumbling flight, which was prized as a form of entertainment.

2. Size and Weight

Oriental Roller Pigeons are medium-sized birds that typically weigh between 300-400 grams. They have a short, rounded body with a short neck and a small head.

3. Plumage

The plumage of Oriental Roller Pigeons can be of various colors, including white, black, red, blue, and brown. The feathers are thick, soft, and lie close to the body. The bird has a ruffled appearance, with feathers that are longer and thicker on the neck, chest, and belly.

4. Tumbling Flight

The most distinctive feature of the Oriental Roller Pigeon is its tumbling flight. This behavior is a result of a genetic trait that causes the bird to roll backward in the air. The rolling flight can be induced by various factors, including the presence of other birds or a sudden loud noise.

5. Training

Not all birds of this breed exhibit the tumbling flight behavior, and it may take some training to encourage the rolling flight. Training should be done gradually and carefully to avoid injury to the bird.

6. Social Behavior

Oriental Roller Pigeons are social birds and are often kept in groups. They form strong bonds with other birds and can become distressed if separated from their flock.

7. Vocalizations

Oriental Roller Pigeons are not known for their vocalizations, but they can make a soft cooing sound.

8. Lifespan

The lifespan of Oriental Roller Pigeons is approximately 5-10 years, but they can live longer with proper care and attention.

9. Breeding

Breeding Oriental Roller Pigeons requires careful selection of breeding pairs to ensure that the offspring exhibit the desired physical and behavioral traits. The breeding process can be challenging, as not all birds will exhibit the tumbling flight behavior.

10. Genetics

The tumbling flight behavior is a result of a recessive genetic trait, which means that both parents must carry the gene for the offspring to exhibit the behavior.

11. Egg Laying

Oriental Roller Pigeons typically lay 2 eggs per clutch, with an incubation period of approximately 17-19 days.

12. Parental Care

Both parents take turns incubating the eggs and caring for the young birds.

13. Chick Development

The chicks are born without feathers and are dependent on their parents for food and warmth. They grow quickly and are fully feathered by approximately 6-8 weeks of age.

14. Diet

The diet of Oriental Roller Pigeons should consist of a balanced mix of grains, seeds, and vegetables. It is important to provide fresh water and clean food dishes daily.

15. Exercise

Oriental Roller Pigeons require plenty of room to fly and exercise. Owners should provide a clean and spacious living environment with perches and toys to keep the bird active and engaged.

16. Housing

Oriental Roller Pigeons can be kept in a variety of housing arrangements, including aviaries, lofts, or cages. The housing should be secure and provide protection from predators.

17. Health

Like all domestic pigeons, Oriental Roller Pigeons require regular health check-ups and vaccinations to prevent disease. Common health issues for pigeons include respiratory infections, parasites, and injuries from predators or accidents.

18. Predators

Oriental Roller Pigeons are vulnerable to a range of predators, including hawks, cats, and humans. Owners should take precautions to protect their birds from harm, such as keeping them in secure housing and supervising their outdoor time.

19. Exhibition

Oriental Roller Pigeons are popular exhibition birds and are judged based on their physical appearance and behavior. Exhibitions provide an opportunity for breeders to showcase their birds and compete for prizes and recognition.

20. Popular Breeds

There are many popular breeds of Oriental Roller Pigeons, including the Egyptian Swift, the Birmingham Roller, and the Syrian Dewlap.

21. Egyptian Swift

The Egyptian Swift is a type of Oriental Roller Pigeon that is known for its speed and agility in flight. It is prized for its ability to perform high-speed rolls and loops in the air.

22. Birmingham Roller

The Birmingham Roller is a breed of Oriental Roller Pigeon that is known for its ability to perform long, continuous rolls in the air. The birds are bred for their specific rolling style, and competitions are held to judge the quality of the rolls.

23. Syrian Dewlap

The Syrian Dewlap is a breed of Oriental Roller Pigeon that is known for its unique appearance. The bird has a large, pendulous dewlap under its chin, which is often brightly colored and feathered.

24. Cultural Significance

Oriental Roller Pigeons have played an important role in many cultures throughout history. They have been used for entertainment, sport, and even as messenger birds.

25. Messenger Birds

Pigeons were once used as messenger birds, delivering important messages over long distances. Their keen sense of direction and homing ability made them ideal for this role.

26. Entertainment

Oriental Roller Pigeons have been used for entertainment for centuries, with people enjoying their tumbling flight and unique behavior.

27. Sport

Oriental Roller Pigeons are also used for sport, with competitions held to judge the quality of their tumbling flight and rolling behavior.

Best Tips for Raising Oriental Roller Pigeons

Raising Oriental Roller Pigeons requires careful attention and dedication. These birds have unique physical and behavioral characteristics that require specific care and management. Here are some best tips for raising Oriental Roller Pigeons:

1. Choose Healthy Birds

When selecting Oriental Roller Pigeons for breeding or as pets, it is important to choose healthy birds. Look for birds with bright, alert eyes, clean feathers, and a healthy weight. Birds with droopy wings or fluffed feathers may be ill and should be avoided.

2. Provide Adequate Housing

Oriental Roller Pigeons require a clean and secure housing environment. A spacious aviary or loft with plenty of perches, nesting boxes, and ventilation is essential for their health and wellbeing.

3. Keep the Environment Clean

Regular cleaning of the aviary or loft is important to prevent the buildup of bacteria, dust, and other harmful substances. Daily cleaning of perches, floors, and nesting boxes is necessary to maintain a healthy environment for the birds.

4. Provide Fresh Water

Clean, fresh water should be provided daily to Oriental Roller Pigeons. A water dispenser or bowl should be placed in a clean and accessible location within the aviary or loft.

5. Offer a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is essential for the health and wellbeing of Oriental Roller Pigeons. The diet should consist of a mixture of seeds, grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Commercially available pigeon food can also be used to supplement the bird’s diet.

6. Monitor Weight and Appetite

Monitoring the weight and appetite of Oriental Roller Pigeons is essential to ensure that they are receiving adequate nutrition. Changes in weight or appetite may indicate a health issue that requires attention.

7. Offer Grit and Calcium

Grit and calcium are important supplements that should be provided to Oriental Roller Pigeons. Grit aids in digestion, while calcium is essential for strong bones and egg production in breeding birds.

8. Provide Opportunities for Exercise

Oriental Roller Pigeons require regular exercise to maintain their physical health and behavioral wellbeing. Providing opportunities for flight and exercise within the aviary or loft is important.

9. Offer a Variety of Perches

A variety of perches should be provided within the aviary or loft to allow the birds to perch and rest in different positions. This can help prevent foot and leg problems and encourage natural behavior.

10. Monitor for Signs of Illness

Monitoring for signs of illness in Oriental Roller Pigeons is important to catch health issues early. Signs of illness may include lethargy, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, and unusual behavior.

11. Provide Nesting Boxes

Breeding pairs of Oriental Roller Pigeons require nesting boxes to lay and hatch their eggs. The boxes should be clean, secure, and placed in a quiet and private location within the aviary or loft.

12. Monitor Breeding Behavior

Monitoring breeding behavior in Oriental Roller Pigeons is important to ensure that eggs are being laid and hatched successfully. Breeding pairs should be monitored for signs of aggression or incompatibility.

13. Offer a Dust Bath

Oriental Roller Pigeons require a dust bath to maintain healthy feathers and skin. A shallow container filled with fine dust or sand should be provided within the aviary or loft.

14. Provide a Quiet Environment

Oriental Roller Pigeons can be easily stressed by loud noises and disturbances. Providing a quiet environment within the aviary or loft is important to maintain the bird’s health and wellbeing.

15. Train Birds to Return to the Aviary or Loft

Training Oriental Roller Pigeons to return to the aviary or loft is important for their safety and security. This can be achieved by gradually increasing the distance that the birds are allowed to fly and rewarding them with treats and praise when they return to the aviary or loft.

16. Monitor for Parasites

Monitoring for parasites such as mites, lice, and worms is important to prevent health issues in Oriental Roller Pigeons. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of the aviary or loft can help prevent infestations.

17. Provide Shade

Oriental Roller Pigeons require access to shade to avoid overheating in hot weather. Providing shaded areas within the aviary or loft is important to maintain the bird’s health and wellbeing.

18. Avoid Overcrowding

Overcrowding can lead to stress, aggression, and the spread of disease in Oriental Roller Pigeons. Providing adequate space and avoiding overcrowding is important for the health and wellbeing of the birds.

19. Monitor Egg Production

Monitoring egg production in breeding pairs of Oriental Roller Pigeons is important to ensure that the birds are healthy and breeding successfully. Changes in egg production may indicate a health issue that requires attention.

20. Avoid Drafts

Oriental Roller Pigeons are sensitive to drafts and should be housed in a draft-free environment. The aviary or loft should be well-ventilated without allowing drafts to pass through.

21. Provide Privacy

Oriental Roller Pigeons require privacy to feel safe and secure. Providing a private and quiet nesting area for breeding pairs is important for successful breeding.

22. Offer Opportunities for Socialization

Oriental Roller Pigeons are social birds and require opportunities for socialization within their flock. Providing perches and toys within the aviary or loft can encourage social interaction and prevent boredom.

23. Monitor Temperature

Monitoring the temperature within the aviary or loft is important to ensure that Oriental Roller Pigeons are comfortable and healthy. The temperature should be maintained between 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

24. Offer Enrichment

Enrichment activities such as foraging for food or toys can provide mental stimulation and prevent boredom in Oriental Roller Pigeons.

25. Maintain Good Hygiene

Maintaining good hygiene practices such as washing hands before and after handling birds and regularly cleaning and disinfecting the aviary or loft can prevent the spread of disease.

26. Seek Veterinary Care When Necessary

Seeking veterinary care when necessary is important to ensure the health and wellbeing of Oriental Roller Pigeons. Regular check-ups and prompt attention to health issues can prevent more serious problems from developing.

27. Provide Plenty of Love and Attention

Oriental Roller Pigeons thrive on love and attention from their owners. Providing plenty of love, attention, and socialization can promote the bird’s wellbeing and enhance the bond between owner and bird.

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