Rick Mee's World Cup Spinners

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where can I obtain good quality rollers?
  2. Why do Birmingham Rollers roll?
  3. How do I prepare my kit to perform at their best on competition day?
  4. What can I do about the hawks?
  5. What was it like in Iraq?

  1. Where can I obtain good quality rollers?
  2. The above question is the most frequently asked question from those desiring to take up the hobby of flying Birmingham Rollers, and for those desiring to upgrade their stock. My answer has always been the same, first join the NBRC, secondly become aware of the better flyers within your region who consistently do well in the big roller competitions, thirdly obtain birds from them. Listen to all advice these successful flyers give you insofar as the management and breeding of their specific roller family, making your own minor adjustments dependent upon the flying schedule you are afforded to due to work and other commitments.

  3. Why do Birmingham Rollers roll?
  4. Several studies have been conducted at top universities around the country, no final and absolute conclusions have been drawn. It is well known amongst those who keep the breed and have some measure of experience, that the better performers seemingly derive some measure of enjoyment through their antics. There are individuals amongst the breed who do at times make mistakes and come crashing down, however there are others who can roll at their utmost when at an altitude that they feel comfortable and safe, shortening their depth when close to objects or during their final decent.

  5. How do I prepare my kit to perform at their best on competition day?
  6. If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me this question, I would be a millionaire! In all seriousness, there is no absolute....one....way....or technique, secret remedy if you will, of getting the most out of your kit on competition day. Every kit has different needs to obtain maximum performance, both physically and psychologically. Every roller family is different, often the same family may fly totally differently when geographics are taken in to consideration. No one knows this better than myself, having flown from last count 13 different locations within 4 different states. What I am trying to say is this.......location plays just as big a part as the family of roller you choose to fly. Whereas one family may need to be given milo to perform at their best on competition day, another may require a few peas to give them a bit of a boost. I have written in the past different preparation plans that have worked for myself, reports back have been favorable for others also. Having said this, new techniques (preps) are being formulated and constantly tested, listing them all here would take too long. If anyone wants to receive advice, or just troubleshoot their kits prior to a competition, just send me an email and I will lend any assistance the best I can, in fact I enjoy this very much.

  7. What can I do about the hawks?
  8. Nothing! Actually, there are a few things you (we) can do to minimize losses to birds of prey.

    1. Conduct competitions at times of the year when the likelihood of losses are minimized due to not being forced to fly during annual migrations.
    2. Do not fly at the same time of day if your kits are being attacked, mix it up a bit.
    3. Lock the kit down for at least 1 week after an attack, often the hawk will move on.
    4. Keep all of your culls throughout the year, fly these first before flying the good ones.
    5. Fly the kit early in the morning or later in the evening, seemingly between the hours of 0930-1500 is the worst insofar as the likelihood of being attacked, at least in my experience and from talking to other flyers. If you do plan on flying in the evening to avoid attacks, get your kit trained to land in the dark. This really is an easy thing to do, email me if you have questions on how to do so.
    6. Do not fly right after a lengthily rain spell, the hawks will be hungry since they have not been able to hunt, also storm fronts usually mean new hawks have been pushed in to your area, especially during annual migrations.
    7. Do not advertise! What I mean is, and especially during annual migrations, do not have fly pens visible from the air. I suggest that your fly pens have solid roofs, that way overhead passing hawks/falcons can not lock in on your location. Often times a hawk will be snooping around your loft while you are at work, lurking in the near by trees, as soon as you let them out you get hit. Anyone want to venture a guess how that happened? I know, it is because you were advertising!
    NOTE: Do not take matters in to your own hands, contact your local FWS if you have a pesky hawk that is murdering your pigeons.

  9. What was it like in Iraq?
  10. It was HOT! After nearly 20 years in the US Army, it is time to hang up the boots. I look forward to just messing with my pigeons for awhile, that is until I figure out what I will do with the rest of my life. For the time being, I merely plan on flying the best kit of Birmingham Rollers that I have ever flown, that and being a good father and husband. Did I mention it was HOT!

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