Mark’s Notes on Roller Inheritance

There is some really good information on pigeon genetics on the Web but it is much more than I needed.  Focusing on Rollers I’ve extracted the information that I need to keep the colors and patterns going in my loft.

When I gave Dwight Madsen my flock of young birds he mated them different than I did and the young I received back were predominately white grizzled birds and only one recessive red mottle.  My original Westfall Jaconettes had most of the common colors and patterns except for brown and any dilute. So, you can understand my confusion at seeing mostly white birds and it made me wonder what had happened.   

Later visiting Bob Westfall’s loft, I noticed the high percentage of black white-sided birds resulting from the heavy use of a pair of outstanding nestmates.    Again, looking at the old breeders there were most of the common colors and patterns but most of the younger birds were blacks with white sides and heavy pied markings.

These two things started me to looking at the genetics behind the colors and patterns. As a post-script – from the research putting this together I now understand that Dwight used the heavily grizzled birds and covered everything up with grizzled whites, so the colors and patterns are probably still there.

In an attempt to make this section manageable the information has been spread across several pages to aid in “load time” on slower devices. There are many pictures to illustrate points and that severely impacted the time it took to load when it was all on this page.

The Sections are:

The Base Colors


Masking Factors

Tortoise Shell




Breeding Result Expectations


Touhoua Yang has also shared his document explaining color genetics in rollers.

For more information you may want to visit these sites. They are not specific to roller pigeons but will allow you to explore the genetics in-depth.

Frank Mosca’s site on genetics.

Robert Miller’s Pigeon Color Genetics Simplified

University of Utah – Pigeon Breeding – Genetics at Work

Mumtaztic Pigeon Loft – Pigeon Genetics

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