The Parlor Tumbler/Roller is probably the most unique breed of pigeon in that it is the only breed that has entirely lost its ability to fly!
Actually, this statement is only partly true, for surprisingly, the Parlor actually can manage some flight, from the time it is weaned until about three months old, but even while flying up to its perch will do a flip or tumble. Within a few weeks, these birds are forever grounded.
What is most remarkable is their ability to tumble on the ground. There are actually three different varieties, which are the single flip, the double flip and the roller. The single and double are now rather uncommon, having taken a back seat to the rolling variety.
Another unique feature of the Parlor Roller is that it is the ONLY pigeon breed in pigeon shows that are not judged on appearance! Performance is the only criteria for rolling performers. Much is the same for the single and double performers. However, more emphasis should be paid to type, color and mark, since performance between birds is less apparent. The single performer is judged by making a single flip, or tumble and landing ideally in the exact same spot as the flip started. The double is judged likewise, but must perform a double flip in its one leap. The tumbling performer shall be given a possible 60 points for landing in the exact position from which it commenced tumbling, 5 points being subtracted for every inch away from the starting point it deviates. A foot away or better eliminates possible performance points. A tumbling performer, which tumbles more than one flip in the air before landing should be given more consideration than a comparable single performer. Three performance attempts should be given with the highest score being recorded. Any bird that rises more than 2 foot off the ground or table should be disqualified.
Parlor Tumblers are about the same size as the feral pigeon, and are rather unremarkable in appearance. The only variations from the wild type is a somewhat rounder head, and more upright stance. The most common colors are Blue Checkers, Recessive Red and Yellow, Splashes and Grizzles, Kite, Almond and Deroy. Virtually all parlors have pearl eyes.
Because the Parlor is a breed that is judged on performance first, color has little value to the competitive breeder. Since I'm the one paying the feed bill on my birds, I want to produce birds that not only perform, but look good doing it. My goal has been to introduce some color modifiers not common in Parlors as well as to produce Parlors in Ash Red and Brown. I don't have a PHD in genetics, but have enough knowledge of how recessives and dominants work to produce some interesting Parlors that are out of the ordinary in pattern and color. My first goal has been to modify the colors I have by introducing Indigo and Reduced. Dominant Opal was available in Parlors, however I hadn't seen much done with Opal in barred birds. With the availability of high quality colored Rollers, obtaining the needed modifiers was easily achieved. Because Parlors are very prolific, early maturing and make good parents, I was able to get two generation most years which has moved my program forward rapidly. Within three years I have produced Parlor Tumblers that are grounded and flipping at a competitive level in Reduced, which has produced some beautiful laced birds, I also have White Bars and Andalusians with impressive performance. In 2012 I plan to continue my focus on Ash Reds and plan to introduce Barless into my program. In 2013, Brown. With H.O.A.'s and space an issue for urban fanciers, Parlor Tumblers are a great way to enjoy the hobby, entertain the kids and do some interesting color projects in a small area, and the neighbors won't even know. Since the adult Parlor is unable to fly, they soon become very tame and trusting. Obviously, they nest on the floor, and are by far one of the most devoted parents to their young. They also make an excellent companion breed to pigeons that nest in the upper loft.