PUBLISHED by the OAKLAND INTERNATIONAL ROLLER CANARY CLUB to improve the advancement, breeding, and exhibition of Roller Canaries.

OIRCC Club Objectives: To advocate the development and advancement of the Roller Canary. To create a better understanding of, and demand for the Roller Canary. To encourage members in scientific breeding. To hold a song contest annually at which birds raised and owned by club members and non-members can be adjudicated upon by an official Judge. The 100 point song standard shall be used. To promote the welfare and prosperity of the club.

Membership REMINDER:
Our current Web site is http:oircc.20x.cc
This there will no regular meeting in San Leandro this month. Instead our Annual Pot Luck & BBQ will be held on Sunday 24 Aug in Fremont CA. The Club will supply the Tri-Tips and chicken. All members and family are welcome. The attendance at our meeting have been small. This meeting is guaranteed to be short with an emphasis on relaxing and talking birds. If your a local Bay Area member and haven't attended a meeting a while, or have a bad taste of how their like, this is your change to come to a normal non-political atmosphere. Currently our club is in upstanding financial order and we have some promising young roller breeders and outstanding Master Breeders who will ensure a very competitive Song Contest show for 97. We have a seasoned European Judge, Alfonse Straetemans, to evaluate our birds for this year.

SONG CONTEST SHOW 97': I'm pleased to announce that Alfonse Straetemans of Belgium has confirmed his status as our Judge for the 97' Song Contest. Straetemans was officially voted in as our Judge for 97' at the July regular meeting. ( Lode Tielens was not able to serve as Judge this year ) Straetemans is a native of Belgium and has Judged on the World Championships three times, in addition to the Belgium Championships many other times. We are all very excited and are looking forward to meeting him and talking birds. Hopefully we'll have a larger show than last year, and as always, the birds entered in the show will be prime condition and ready to perform. We are looking to forward to many ship-ins from Southern CA and the Greater Northwest this year. Its not often a European Judge makes the journey to Oakland, CA. Good Luck to all entries!!! Note: The novice class is wide open so if you've never shown birds before now is your chance .... If you need Show cages and cabinets to train your birds for the Show, contact Justin Agrella. He has many excess cabinets and cages for sale (cheap!).

OIRCC WEB SITE INFO: Our current Web site address is http:oircc.20x.cc. If you need back issues of the High Notes you'll find them here, along with our Club By-Laws and Constitution and other general information. OIRCC Club Membership subscription is still only $25.00 per year. This membership price includes your subscription to the HIGH NOTES Newsletter and all other club privileges. 

Master Breeders Corner

By Jim Naquin

This is somewhat a slower time of year for the roller breeder, another phase that I look forward to. There is an old proverb which states "Don't count your chickens before they moult." This same rule applies to rollers as well. It is not until after the molt that breeders know how many good birds they have. Top quality in young males will then be apparent, and the breeder will know if their song quality surpasses that of their predecessors. After the moult, it is a good time to select the stock to be retained for the next year. "A good bird is always a good bird." We will also know if they are good producers by listening to their offspring. If they are from a deep song strain, we will retain some of them to complete the family lines (gene pool).

If their sons possess greater quality, retain them in preference to the sire. Always upgrade when possible. Do not over look the importance of quality in hens recognized by their movements, clean cut and slender. Heavy breathing hens should not be retained in the stud. Check the condition of your birds, an inflamed abdomen with liver spots betrays internal disorders. The abdomen should be slightly vaulted and bland in color. Easily frightened or wild hens should not be retained. Hens that have stripped their young bare of feathers should be discarded. These are bad traits that will be transmitted to their offspring.

Find calls are also essential in good roller hens. Those with musical calls should be retained in preference to those expressing sharp and ugly calls. The good males the breeder will recognize will exhibit quality song and tone. Males expressing high flutes or bells may be retained in the pool for breeding, providing their expression are outstanding in the basic tours. The proper selection of stock birds is very essential. We also hope to out produce his champion brother. Males expressing hard and metallic tours (e.g. hard water) should not be kept for future breeding purposes. Now, a few comments on the current young, the most important thing is to separate the males as soon as possible. Do not let them play all day long in full sunlight. Often, a robust young cock will force his song and try to lead all others in a school flight, remove him as soon as possible. Try to have a flight where you can control the light. Keep schools dim enough that they practice the deeper tours.

During the moult, I feed the males rape, canary seed, oat groats, Niger, sunflower chips, cracked sunflower, hemp and flax. Also, one of the best is fine ground whole wheat. Grind only what they will consume in a few days. Take all your hens and put them in a airy and large as possible flight. Let them have plenty of sun, but be sure they can get into the shade whenever they want to. Give them plenty of fresh bath water, and more importantly, all the fresh greens they will eat. All the above seeds and mineralite gravel, protect them from draft, keep flight clean. Assuming your birds have been culled properly, your birds will be healthy and you won't have to worry about non-breeding hens. Good care will pay dividends on the show bench.

Good Luck.

The Idea of Line Breeding

By Justin Agrella

When one understands the fundamentals of breeding it is most surprising what can be accomplished by mating scientifically. Family characteristics or traits particular to a bird can be fixed to a surprising extent so that a whole strain will possess, in time, some special features that mark the line of progeny. While like does produce like in many instances, it must be remembered that characteristics must be fixed to such an extent that their dominance takes aggressive pre-natal form. As a result, regularly of the appearance of a character in a dominant form can usually be relied upon. We must have repeatability of results as our goal.

The object of line breeding is to fully establish the excellent traits of the offspring so that line bred progenitors are qualified to pass on their dominant traits. Line breeding increases existing traits regardless of whether they are desirable or undesirable. Therefore, it is most important to begin a strain with the best rollers that you can obtain.

The special aim in line breeding essentially is not only to hold any superior quality but to improve the good and eliminate the bad qualities. Line breeding means "breeding in line", or using the same blood lines for generation after generation without the introduction of new blood or "blood refreshment" which discredits your stock and confuses your aim.

Introduction of new blood causes a disturbance of the line. It creates unpredictable variations, usually reversing all the generations of hard work. I have had chance to speak to a few judges who claim to have line bred for over twenty years without blood refreshment. They are of the belief that removing "The lemons and keeping the peaches" are a must to continue this process.

Line breeding as a science includes only mating related stock and, consequently, judiciously handling the blood lines. It must not be allowed to reach a state of intensive inbreeding and its disastrous results. A breeder interested in this breeding plan must be prepared to keep very accurate records of his breeders year after year. Records are important to this process in order for the results you receive to be gauged accurately.

When breeding you are generally confronted with many characteristics such as form, color, size, etc. In the subject under discussion here, we are talking tone, which might be termed an "invisible characteristic." That is, something that cannot be seen but is present in sound and can be perceived by hearing it. In attempting to produce a strain for tone, one must select a male that is above average in depth, tone and power. Next we must find a mate for this male. Select a female who is from a progeny of equal song characteristics, has produced offspring of equal value or simply by her call. If selecting by call, ft must be a deep round almost mournful call. If you get good singing males from this pair, you are lucky. You cannot expect immediate results in tone even if you do know your blood lines. It must be taken for granted that the male may not be dominant in tone quality. Though the first progeny may not show equal quality of voice, still they are valuable in your next matings. They are much more likely to produce young of good tone if you breed them "in line" to their parents. By taking the females produced by the first mating and mating them to the father and the sons mated to the mother, we are line breeding. To make this more simple we will leave the mother out of this discussion and breed to the father only. The females produced from the first mating should contain half of the fathers blood. Mating one of these back to the father the next breeding season will produce young with three-quarters of the father's blood. Mating one of these grand-daughters back to the original male again will produce birds having seven-eighths of the original male's blood. As you progress you have been noting the tone of the male progeny in particular. It should be getting more like the original male. By the third generation of line breeding you have a decided strain which will have so much of the fathers blood that the offspring will begin to look, act, have the same temperament and above all sing like the father. After all, this is what has been specifically bred for and sought after.

In making a strain, it must always be remembered that the first selection above all others is that of strength. Without this you are building a sand castle in the sand. On all phases of inheritance: size, body structure and appearance must be pre-eminently dominant. Without R a strain will end disastrously sooner more than later.

In the case of the Roller Canary breeder, the most dominant factor is that of song. Outside of vigor, all other factors are subordinated or overlooked in the effort to produce a singer with a deep mellow voice.


A More Detailed Look

To better explain line breeding, it goes without saying that we need a visual aid. Reference the LINE BREEDING CHART by Gordon Hamilton. This chart has been in use for the betterment of song and the creating of different strains for years. It is nearly impossible to create a new strain without the use of this chart and since ft should be the aim of every breeder to establish his own special strain of song, it is presented here.

The shaded portion of each circle represents the male's blood in each mating of his family. The clear portion of each circle represents the female's blood in each of her family. The chart can be best summarized as follows:

We can go on for many years longer working the same blood back and forth in our family. This will very likely bring out some improvements in our bird's song. Be very careful with size and feather quality, however. That is why we will not continue with our "Adam and Eve" any further in our family. The blood of our younger generations can still be experimented with.

I explained all of this line breeding to show breeders how foolish ft is to buy new blood every year and always keep mating birds away from the results in song which we wish to attain. Keep accurate records, learn the song and skill mixed with a little luck will produce what you want.

Editors Note: When purchasing birds from a breeder, try to obtain background information (Parents and Grand parents). You may already be at the 3rd Season.

ROLLER CANARY HIGHNOTES is Published by the Oakland International Roller Canary Club to improve the advancement. breeding, and exhibition of German Roller Canaries. Hopefully it will encourage the promotion of the fancy and instruct our members who are not able to attend our regular monthly meetings. The opinions of the writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Club nor it's officers. We encourage all members and readers to feel free to send in comments, questions, and any articles they would like to see printed. Judges, Master Breeders, Champion, Amateur, and Novice breeders of Roller Canaries are cordially asked to contribute articles for publication. Subscription price of HIGHNOTES is $8 per year for Non-OIRCC Members. Back issues are $2.00 per copy. Steve Billmire - High Notes Editor.

Last modified: January 28, 2010

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