Before Harz and Before 2010
Most of the Roller canaries in North America were decendants of the Multi-Tour (British Glucke) strains. Due to the way they were bred (mixed variety of tours) we had problems with song. If our pairing of Gluck to Gluck didnt put water in all tours, then Gluck with Flute or Bells to Bells produced even worse. Once in a while we would hear some good Hollow tone but rarely did the other tours match. And before we could refine balance of tours, we first had fix them. By 2007, some of the birds had so much water in every tour they were like Waterslagers. In others, there was high pitched screaming bells. Since nothing in the song standard defined much of what was heard, it became a nightmare challenge to Judge. Without tours that can be recognized, no points can be given and the Judge is restricted to comments. Needless to say, the score sheet was nothing to be proud of. Since most people want to enjoy the song rather than struggle with it, our best solution was to cull everything. And so it was. Our problems with breeding British Glucke culls that were originally rejected on the continent had finally ended. After many years of frustration, we went to look elsewhere.
Well, once you reason that these problems weren't ever such a big concern in Europe, the answer to that question should seem obvious. And once you dig a little deeper into the International song standard, the reason why this is so becomes even more obvious. By rewarding the most valued (four head tours) with high points, breeders souht to cull Gluck and Bells. Thus, any problems caused by Gluck and Bells was solved. Although today, there are a few variations of International song standard, they are all basically the same as the one Dr. Wolfe developed in Germany more than 100 years ago. Why it never caught on in in America is a mystery. Also it is especially interesting that the highest scoring team of 2014 and 2015 at their National cage bird show was won by a Canadian with teams of Harz Rollers. And those birds are not even the best in Canada! While its true that the birds that swept America are very good and they were bred from offspring of COM silver medalist Popal, the best Harz in Canada (And the World) came from COM GOLD medalist Frank Anquez.
With that aside, the real point I am trying to make here is that it makes no sense to stay with what didnt work. It seems to be taking a bit longer for people in the US to catch on but as long as they are happy with birds that cant get within 20 points of the total, I wont complain.
After all, i didnt get started right away either. It took nearly 30 years before I made the switch.I waited until 2009, before I obtained any Harz. Of the two DKB Harz from Englemeyer, I shared one with my colleague Joe Pietrobon of Vancouver. Until then, I too was happy. If I never heard the Englemeyer, I would never have known what I was missing all those years. And that that was the only reason why I suddenly felt so bad. In the following year, I developed an urge. I wanted to pair only a pure strain of Harz Roller. From there, I sought them from Europe. Not just any strain, either. What I wanted was consistancy. I wanted them from someone who had a proven track record. It wasnt long before I found such a person that my first two trios arrived from Franck Anquez. Meanwhile, in the United States, I got word from Paul Scandlyn and Almin Omic, who followed with a few Bartels and Dentler. Since then, I recieved several more imports of Anquez, one import of Wittman (from his last winning team DKB) and one import of Popal. Due to consistancy of the new Anquez Harz (over 80% above 88 points) I believe they are the best in the World.
The Canary Tales
Linda is author of this very helpful publication :