Pros: Easy to train, inquisitive, intresting type of performance, can be wonderful pets.
Cons: More vulnerable to predators, cannot fly.
With their curious and charming personality, Parlor Tumbler pigeons are easily one of my favorite breeds of pigeon. They can easily entertain their owners by their unique performance style of leaping a few inches off of the ground and executing anywhere from one to three backwards somersaults. Parlor Tumblers are similar to the Parlor Roller breed, except unlike Rollers, Tumblers are judged based on the quality of each tumbling performance whereas Parlor Rollers are judged by the measured distance of their performance - i.e. how far they can roll across a lawn. In my opinion, Parlor Tumblers are also a more friendly, energetic and charismatic breed and are not spooked quite as easily as the Rollers.
Parlor Tumblers can be trained with a dog clicker, whistle or by snapping your fingers. I have always preferred the finger snapping method, as it is much more reliable in animating the bird to perform and also seems easier - when ready to train or perform, a quick *snap* sound made right behind the Tumbler's shoulders does the trick. It is always best to train them on a lawn, faux grass (sometimes used for the Tumblers in shows) or something fairly soft and level to help prevent injury if they bump their head on the ground. Parlor Tumblers will sometimes also perform a flip or two on their own when allowed to explore outside and when happy and energetic.
Due to their inability to fly, Parlor Tumblers are more vulnerable to predators especially when allowed to explore outside. Although they will sometimes go into a mad frenzy of flipping here and there to try and avoid being caught, they have no other defense and can easily be snatched by hawks, dogs, children, etc. and for their safety need to be monitored when let out to explore.
Their housing requirements are different from other pigeons as they cannot get off of the ground easily and can be injured/injure themselves if placed in a normal loft with other pigeons. Since they cannot fly, they cannot access a normal pigeon perch or get out of the way of more aggressive pigeons very easily. Also, if kept in a normal sized loft with other birds they could easily be spooked constantly and end up whacking their heads on the floors/walls and damaging their feathers. Parlor Tumblers do best if housed in a smaller loft with perches placed low to the floor for them to hop onto and easily access without having to fly. A limited number of other Parlor Tumblers can be housed together, but they should never be overcrowded and breeding pairs should always be housed in their own small, but comfortable individual area. Another way to house Parlor Tumblers is to house just one to four birds (not pairs) in a large loft with a wooden floor, adequate amounts of soft bedding, perches and at least 6' by 8' floor space. This gives plenty of room for the Tumblers and decreases the risk of them being spooked or bullied by other birds, as well as allowing them to have plenty of space in case they do decide to tumble in the loft.
My favorite quality of the breed is their personality and ability to easily be tamed and become wonderful pets. One of my favorite pigeons is my almond-colored Parlor Tumbler hen named Bug (odd name, I know - long story ). She is as sweet as can be and will follow me around the house, loves to be petted and loves tugging on/snuggling in any soft clothes she can find, and is generally one of the tamest and most adorable pigeons I have ever seen. Just a note: If a Parlor Tumbler is allowed to be inside as a house pet, always watch where you step if/when your pigeon is allowed to freely walk around your house!
Overall, 4.5 stars out of 5. I have had a couple of slight issues with pigeons of this breed, but overall great birds, wonderful pets, and a very unique breed of pigeon. Would highly recommend this breed to someone who would want to keep entertaining pet pigeons who are very tame and love to be spoiled.