Saturday, March 14, 2009
Kick It Up A Notch!
Getting the Hens Hotter!
Although the cocks are coming along nicely, the hens are still not exhibiting red hot bare abdomens. I can't control the weather which has been extremely dry, no spring rains yet, and extreme temperature variation from setting a record high at 86 degrees F to a few snow flakes. First its hot and then its cold, what's a girl to do? When its hot, its full speed ahead, and when its cold they back off and a few even skip a day laying!
To counter balance the go and stop weather signals, I had added a couple of more good tricks. Some flax seed were added to the seed mix. Flax seed is one of highest known seed sources of linolenic acid (an Omega-3-fatty acid), which is important for feather luster when fed during the molt. It also contains phytosterols which enhance breeding condition. On the downside, as an oily seed it is fattening and overdosing with flax seed will cause diarrhea. I actually had a e-mail once regarding birds with uncontrolled diarrhea, the dark part of the dropping was totally liquid. Investigation revealed that the only seed the breeder was feeding was flax seed!
The second thing I added was World Organic Brand, multiple B vitamins in the water. I get these from the health food store and will containing making the water yellow colored through the molt. Being water soluble, you do not need to be concerned about overdosing with them.
Once the hens abdomens are really hot, and they are paired, I will up the wheat products, wheat germ mixed 50/50 with petamine and more cous cous in the egg food. Wheat products encourage laying but it is useless for the hen to lay heat eggs, we want her to invite mating and lay fertile eggs!