Central Roller Club

Taken from A roller Digest 1967



SIZE: Should be small to medium in size, but not tiny - short rather than long, and rather short in neck and legs. By actual weight a cock bird in flying condition should not weigh more than 10 ounces, and a hen not over 8 ounces. From the nape of the neck to the tip of the tail a cock should measure not over 8 1/2 inches and a hen not over 8 inches.

POSTURE AND PROPORTION: Should not stand too erect, nor should the bird stand too horizontal. Somewhere in between, so that with the bird at attention, the axis of the body when projected toward and through the tail will definitely drop downward at an angle of about 10 degrees, and with the tail off the floor by approximately an inch. Cocks stand slightly more erect than hens.

Weak headed or spindle necked birds should be avoided, as should specimens that are too long cast in body, or have too long a tail, or too high in the legs or knock kneed, or in general too large in size or too tiny. A cock should exude masculinity and a hen, femininity, and a bird which challenges you to tell its sex should not be a winner at a show.

In order to determine a birds correct posture it should be perfectly relaxed and at ease, and in this connection it should be borne in mind that you cannot expect a roller to be its normal self when too many are brought together in a single judging pen. Rather they should be spread outin individual cages, or the judging performed with the birds in their assigned compartments.

BODY: Medium in size, gracefully and well proportioned, short rather than long, neither too shallow nor too deep in keel, with the keel extending well toward the vent bones and possessing ample firmness toward the rear. Medium width in front, tapering in a wedge-like manner to very little at the rear. The crop region should blend into the chest in graceful curve, not protruding nor should the curvature appear recessive, suggesting weakness, not roach-backed, but straight, the top line of the body and tail with the bird at ease should appear slightly concave.

TAIL: Should consist of 12 strong springy feathers, tightly packed and ending in not over a 1 1/2 feather width. Short rather than long, and not to extend beyond the extremities of the wings by over 5/8 of an inch. At ease the tail should be off the floor, but not to the extent of denoting a horizontal stance.

RUMP: Should be narrow and conform to the general symmetry of the body and tail. The body, rump, and tail should be nearly a straight line with no outward bulge at the rump accentuated in any manner like in Orientals. Moreover, an oil gland should be present,

WINGS: The bird at ease, the wings should be tightly curve-folded against the body and appear integral with it. They should rest upon the tail, with the secondaries and coverts well overlapping the back, and no feathers should extend below the lower line of the primaries. Wing length should be such that the tip of the wing extends to a point approximately 5/8 of an inch back from the end of the tail. Excess tail protrusion indicates a too long cast bird, insufficient wing, or both.

HEAD: Neither round like a ball, nor conspicuously flat on top, nor a perfect oval, viewed from the side the curvature of the head should start off with a definite break at the base of the beak, continue upward and backward rather abruptly until it reaches its high point just in front of the eye. Thence for a very short distance the curve should simulate a straight line, continue backward and slightly downward and merging into the back neckline without any sharp or sudden breaks to mar its continuity. There should definitely be more back skull than front skull and top skull should not be lacking. Viewed from the front the face should start to develop right behind the wattle, and there should be width across the eyes, appearing slightly arched, instead of flat or angular. Too narrow of a face or a pinched appearance should be avoided.

EYES: Any color acceptable, such as pearl, gravel, orange, yellow, or black, and a show specimen should preferably have even colored eyes - an odd eyed bird should be penalized but definitely not disqualified. A pearl eye as referred to in a roller is not the true pearl eye of the Tumbler or Budapest, and such an eye is not to be desired. The more pigment or coarseness in a “pearl eye'' the more it becomes a gravel eye, and in birds other than Baldheads, a gravel or orange eye is preferred as it takes both to breed good rollers. The eyes should set a trifle toward the front of the skull and the pupil should be centered perfectly - not forward or downward, the cere to be small and unnoticeable and a red eye cere to be avoided. Should be bright, clear, and full of sparkle, and denote health and energy, in contradiction to appearing weak and listless, as explained hereinafter under the heading of expression.

BEAK: Medium short to medium long, not too long and slender nor too stubby, but stout enough to avoid a pinched appearance of the face. Light in color when white appears in the color marking of the head, otherwise may be light-horn color to darkhorn, Wattles smooth, close fitting and not too prominent. The beak setting should be such that a straight line projected through the center of the beak will pass right through the center of the eye. If the line passes the eye higher up, the bird should be considered too down-faced, and if the line passes under the eye the bird is too straight-faced.

NECK: Of medium length, short rather than long, fairly stout at the shoulders and tapering gradually to the head in curves unmarred by any irregularities or protrusions,

LEGS: Sturdy and of medium length, short rather than long, but not ducky. Neither should they be so long as to give the impression of stilts. At ease, the lower leg should extend forward, not straight down, giving the bird the appearance of ability to take off with little effort. A front view should show parallel legs with a fair distance in between, but should not be wide-legged and not knock-kneed.


GENERAL: The entire bird from head to foot, to the tip of the tail should appear to be sheathed in a firm, smooth tight fitting coat of feathers with an outward texture that reflects health and maturity. There should be no looseness or protrusion of feathers underneath the rump or on the hocks, and more-over the feather structure where required for ability in the air must be strong in quill, nice and springy and the feathers of ample width and correct length.

CONDITION: Condition in a roller involves more that a mere sheen or shine of plumage, or that the bird should be in perfect moult. It means that there should be a certain muscular hardness, and a firm body structure especially in the vicinity of the vent bones. The keel should fit under the body tight, preferably to curve under, and it should offer resistance when forced in slightly. There should be complete flexibility of all wing joints, without any indication of slow reflexes, and a good healthy constitution devoid of all lethargy or any other signs of listlessness. A bird is definitely out of condition when it is too fat.,

A good moult is essential only to the extent that it will accentuate a good bird, and therefore by all means is to be desired. However, a bird that can stand on its own with a feather or two missing should not be penalized on account of degree of moult. A competent roller judge will be able to evaluate its worth in spite of its apparent disadvantage were it to compete on the basis of moult like in most fancy breeds.

TAIL FEATHERS: There should be 12 tail feathers, strong in quill, tightly packed and ending in not over 1 1/2 feather width, as explained in subheading under TYPE, The supporting feathers on top and below the main tail feathers should likewise be sturdy and their size and placement be such as to afford ample reinforcement during the while the bird is in the air or seeks to land.

Upon spreading out the tail all the main feathers should cover and there should be no indication of an opening, viz: no split tail and the 12 tail feathers should not all curve to one Side.

WING FEATHERS: As explained under TYPE, with the bird at ease the wing should be tightly curve-folded against the body to appear integral with it. It is very important that the coverts and secondaries be abundant enough to smoothly cover the birds back completely and there should be no indication of the secondaries protruding vertically, commonly referred to as sideboards. Upon opening to a flying position the ends of the primaries and the secondaries should describe a convex curve, or at least a straight line. Weak primaries and short secondaries will show up in a concave pattern and this is a serious fault, denoting deficient wing. Further, the wing open to a flying position, the primaries and secondaries shall each comprise about one half the total span, and each secondary shall overlap its adjacent one throughout its full length. The primaries should likewise overlap, except for the extreme ends, which necessarily will terminate in a small gap. Both the primaries and the secondaries must have strong springy quill, and there must be cohesion between the feathers, as evidenced by the degree of drag or resistance between them when the wing is opened.


Expression is that attribute of a bird's face which denotes stamina, poise, and alertness. A likely measure of a birds capability and stability in the air, it is evaluated by the eyes which should be pleasingly attractive, portray a keen wide-awake bearing and individual appeal, and reflecta dynamic brilliance which will effectively hold your attention and impress you with the birds importance and resourcefulness. and intrigue you into admiring it, regardless of its other characteristics such as type, or feather and/or color and mark.