Roller Pigeons: Care | Breeding | Feeding & Cost

Pigeons are lovely birds and adored by many for their short stature. They are picky birds and can eat anything available in their habitat. Many people love to pet pigeons of different varieties. 

There are many varieties of pigeons and one such is the roller pigeons. Roller pigeons always fascinated me. It amazes me how they used to dance and roll in the middle of the flight.

This guide will share every detail about the amazing roller pigeons and will bring them a little closer to you. Read to learn more.

What is a roller pigeon?

Roller pigeons are fancy and cult varieties of breeds of pigeons known to roll while flying in the air. The bird looks like it is performing aerobatics in the middle of its flight while rolling backward at regular intervals.

This happens due to a genetic defect in the bird making them roll in their flight. They are bred in such a way that the genetic effect is created by useful breeding techniques.

They are quite popular and are used as a medium of entertainment and as a sport for a long time in many countries among pigeon enthusiasts.

Related Read: Why Do Roller Pigeons Roll | How Do You Identify A Roller Pigeon?

Why do roller pigeons roll?

The main reason that roller pigeons roll is because of human creativity in breeding science and creativity in the field of genetic engineering. Some breeds of them are engineered selectively to make them roll in their flights by manipulating their flight genes.

Over time people have selectively bred many birds that can perform insane and unimaginable things by just changing the genetic sequencing or interfering with the genes. Many varieties of pigeons are bred by this process and roller pigeons are one among the many.

It is important to know that roller pigeons are not by birth having this trait. They were normal flying birds once but only after selective breeding and the use of genetic techniques they were converted into rolling pigeons. 

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Different Breeds of Roller pigeon 

There are many breeds of roller pigeons that have been bred for the amusement of people, and some for entertainment and sports. Some of them are discussed below-

The Birmingham Roller pigeons

The most known pigeons called Birmingham pigeons are well known for their rolling abilities. They originally come from the Birmingham region of England so getting the name Birmingham.

The bird is highly attractive and as a result, was bred into roller pigeons to get more eyes and higher breeding returns. It looks very similar in shape, size, and color to the rock pigeons.

Over the years, many masters of rolling pigeons have used roller pigeons in their shows to organize amazing rolling shows. Loved by spectators this breed of roller pigeon is popular for the beautiful patterns they create while flying and rolling in the air.

The popularity of these rolling pigeons had led to massive breeding all over the globe and the count of Birmingham roller pigeons is known to be more than twenty thousand.

Related Read: Best Pet Pigeon Breeds | What Breed Of Pigeon Makes The Best Pet?

The Galatz Roller pigeons

Galatz Roller pigeons mimic the rolling style of Birmingham pigeons and are quite popular among the audience for their quirky flying tendencies and swift movements in the air. The breed is known for its superiority in terms of attractive looks and effortless moments even while they are on land.

These roller pigeons look like a short miniature form of common homing pigeons as they have very small neck regions with short stature of the whole body. Their bottom region like the legs and lower back is a bit chubby and makes them a favorite. 

Another interesting thing about them is that they are available in a variety of colors making impressions on the viewers’ eyes.

These birds are not easy to train and are quite resistant to human instructions. It is considered quite a task to train these pigeons. But if trained well, they are capable of rolling for intervals of more than half an hour. 

This makes them a sure shot favorite roller pigeon to many show persons because it buys them shows of long durations.

Related Read: Things To Know Before Buying Pigeons As Pets

The Oriental Roller Pigeons

Oriental Roller pigeons are Asian breeds of pigeons visibly available in multiple arrays of colors and come in different shapes and sizes. They are quick birds and are great athletes that put up interesting shows for the spectators.

These birds with their heavy feathers and super flexible wings are more of a flight lover as compared to a roller. These birds can roll for a very short duration and fly for longer distances as compared to other roller breeds.

One of the nicest qualities of oriental roller pigeons is that they can fly for very long durations in the air while showing their rolling skills. This can truly help in setting a special spectacle for those who love to see roller pigeons.

Related Read: Do pigeons fly at night?

Related Read: Do Birds Get Tired Of Flying | How Long Can Birds Fly Without Stopping?

Eating behavior of roller pigeons

Roller pigeons are not a kind of picky bird and they can eat anything that they find easy to bite and chew in their surroundings. It is important to keep track of their diet and eating habits to feed them a healthy diet.

The first thing is to make roller pigeons comfortable in their new house by keeping them adequately warm with delicious and healthy food. The food should be given to them twice or thrice a day with plentiful fresh and clean water.

It is important to keep track of your pigeon’s diet. If in any case they waste food or do not eat it completely, you can shift to feeding them twice a day or so. Keep track and adjust as per the needs.

It is really important to provide fresh water to roller pigeons first thing in the morning as the birds love to drink a lot of water keeping them hydrated. 

The best time to feed your roller pigeon may vary from place to place and in different breeds of roller pigeons. I usually feed my pigeons first in the morning around 7 am or 8 am, after serving fresh water to them.

You can also feed them at noon if your pigeons have eaten complete food. It is advised to serve the last dose of food before sunset so that the bird can clearly eat the food inadequate light and can go to sleep at a comfortable visible time.

Related Read: What not to feed pigeons?

Related Read: When Can Baby Pigeons Feed Themselves?

What can you feed roller pigeons?

The perfect food for roller pigeons is the one that contains a mix of food rich in various nutrients like enriching minerals, proteins, vitamins, fats, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and much more. A well-balanced diet ensures good health for roller pigeons and allows them to roll higher and flight more.

It is important to understand the needs of different breeds of roller pigeons as each breed can require different nutrients in different amounts as per their body types and needs. One such superfood that has multiple nutrients in balanced amounts is pallets. Palette food is specially made for pigeons and other birds giving them proper health benefits.

Apart from the processed pallet food, there are many other alternatives that you can feed to your roller pigeons :


One of the most loved foods of roller pigeons is various grains available in common households. All sorts of grains like wheat, rice, barley, and many others are gulped by these birds with joy.

These grains are super nutritious and are not heavy on the budget. Proper and balanced food can be prepared by mixing and coarsely grinding different grains in sufficient and balanced amounts. 

The food will be rich in multiple nutrients and dietary fiber. You can easily feed your roller pigeons with a mixed diet of multiple grains alternatively on a daily basis.


Bread is loved by different types of pigeons and is a sure-shot favorite of roller pigeons. You can easily feed leftover bread pieces to these birds and they will eat them with love.

It is important to keep track of how much bread you are feeding to your birds as it is not healthy for your roller pigeons. Bread can cause dietary issues to the bird and cause various negative effects and allergies as well.

Related Read: Pigeon Breeding Techniques | How to Breed Pigeons faster – Detailed Guide:

Leftover foods

The best thing about roller pigeons is that you do not need to spend a lot of money to cater to their eating habits. One of the best hacks is to feed them with leftover food like peels of vegetables and fruits, leftover veggies, rice, wheat bread, nuts, snacks, and much more.

These birds can almost eat anything and can help in saving a lot of money and also reduce food wastage.


Roller Pigeons love to chew various nuts. The cracking and hard nuts are one of the most favorite foods of roller pigeons and it offers them a lot of nutrients ( nuts are highly enriched in protein).

Related Read: What Do You Give A Sick Bird? How Do You Revive Its Health?

Can Roller Pigeons return back?

Yes, roller pigeons can come back from a short distance. It is known that if your roller pigeon flies away in the initial days it may come back home from a short distance.

In many cases even it is witnessed that roller pigeons can home from a distance as long as 10 to 12 kilometers. But there is no surety that roller pigeons will come back.

Many birds that are kept in cages under human conditions often try to fly away in their natural habitats to live a more free life. In such cases, there are very few chances that your roller pigeons will come back.

To what Distance can Roller Pigeons Fly?

Roller pigeons can fly to distances of medium range from 1km to 10kms. The constant rolling back hinders their flight to larger distances as they get deprived of energy very easily.

The constant rolling tires them up and as a result of which they can not travel greater distances as compared to many migratory birds flying thousands of kilometers.

Different varieties of roller pigeons are accustomed to fly for shorter and larger lengths of distance. The size, shape and feather content is also an important factor in deciding how much and till what distance the roller pigeon can fly. 

What is the lifespan of Roller Pigeons?

The lifespan of roller pigeons differs from breed to breed but the average lifespan of most roller pigeons is between seven to ten years.

The lifespan of roller pigeons depends upon various factors like their eating habits, what food they are given, their habitat, exposure to sunlight, sleeping patterns, and much more. In cases of chronic illness or other bird flu, the birds may die at an early death.

Roller pigeons can live for more than ten years in their natural habitat. Many historical pieces of evidence confirm that they can live for even 12 to 13 years in the wild.

Do Roller Pigeons make good pets?

Roller pigeons are generally good pets. It is important to keep care of their health and needs and to devote extra time to their training as well.

Well-trained and cared for roller pigeons can turn out to be amazing pets. It is important to train these birds in the initial time after birth.

Roller pigeons can listen to your directions and may roll when you ask them to do so if they are trained properly.

Related Read: How Long To Keep Pigeons In Cage | For New Pet Pigeon Owners

How can your roller pigeons train?

You can train roller pigeons by developing a reward system. Firstly make them fly in the air and if they do not follow your instructions or fly for extended durations you can keep them away from their food and water for some time.

In case the bird follows your instruction, reward the bird with some tasty and fulfilling food. It will create a subconscious effect and the bird will start following your instructions in hope of tasty and filling food.

After repeating this process for some duration the bird will become accustomed to your directions and it will be easier to manage and train your roller pigeons.

Related Read: Interesting birds that look like a pigeon.

Summing it up

Roller pigeons are interesting birds that can roll in the middle of their flights. The birds are perceived like modern-day athletes performing somersaults in the air while rolling backward.

These roller pigeons are bred by eliminating a gene so they get accustomed to rolling in the middle of their flight and creating an interesting effect in the middle of the air.

They can eat different sorts of food and drink a lot of water. The birds should be properly taken care of and looked out for every need to get optimum performance and health.

Roller pigeons are available in different varieties and multiple colors. Roller pigeons are highly interesting breeds and bring a sense of joy and thrill to the eyes of one who watches them in action.