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Feeding Rollers
by Paul Maywald

 

EATING HABITS FLYERS:

Flyers should be segregated by how they eat. Those that have full crops at the end of feeding should be put in a kit box by themselves. These are the aggressive eaters. Those that have little food in the crop show that they are timid eaters and will never obtain enough feed to keep up with the aggressive birds in flight, and need to be separated. This will give you kits where all birds perform equally well. Feed can be a commercial mix or a mix of preference. If you feed a mix be mindful all the birds receive the same feed. If the mix is 1/2 Milo and 1/2 wheat you should feed the two grains separate this way all birds receive the same type and amount. Note wheat is a High-Octane fuel and should be fed with care during competition. Milo is a Lo-Octane feed, it has a high carbohydrate content keeps the bird low, and on the edge. Peas are also High-Octane and should also be feed with care. Young birds should not be spared good feed. Feed them well to build muscle and good feathers, one can add some safflower seed to the mix until they start to kit, this will develop good primary feathers, and keep the rest of the feathers silky and supple. When the birds start to kit (20 birds to a kit) feed on the day you fly, one half more the normal ration, on the second day feed half of the first days ration and do not fly the birds, on the third day cut the second days ration in half, on the fourth day fly the birds. You should see a marked improvement in performance. The birds will never be under fed, for on the day they fly they will have received a good feeding and rest, the next two days the birds will receive cut down rations but still be rested, and the body is primed but never overcharged for the 20-30 min fly with performance. One has to be mindful and adjust the feed to their birds but not to over feed, remember feed is the controlling factor in flying Rollers. You have to watch the birds perform and adjust the rations accordingly. Upon landing the birds should enter the kit box within 1 min, if longer it shows the birds are over fed.

FEEDING BREEDERS:

Feed breeders a good quality commercial feed with plenty of peas and a variety of mixed grains, I have found that 2% rice added to the feed will keep the droppings of the young in the nest firm not watery. Protein content should be around 12-16%. Some folks feed pellets mixed with the grain, that is helpful to the youngsters because it has vitamins and supplements that are beneficial to the growing young. When feeding pellets be sure to have sufficient amounts of fresh clean water, the intake is more when feeding pellets, one caution feeding pellets, be sure they are not moldy or rancid, this will cause all kinds of health problems.

Well hope this helps some of you. I'm sure it will stir some controversy. I welcome any offered, as this is how we learn and keep the sport alive!

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