Thursday, February 17, 2011

In My Aviary - Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Vitamin E
My male birds have been getting ABBA High Fertility Vitamin E once a week treatment for the last two weeks. Usually I give it three weeks to males before starting the hens on the fourth week. That is just right for the Staffords and colorbred in my aviary this year but I think the Borders and roller males would benefit from two more weeks instead of one more week prior to starting the hens getting it too. Males will continue weekly treatment till the breeding season is over, while hens only get the weekly treatment until they lay their first egg.

Tricking the Hen
At times, when a male will not sing to the hen, I have used a another male in a show cage either close or immediately below the hens cage. When he sings, she assumes the mating position and the poor crooner, takes advantage of his opportunity. I have pulled this trick numerous times sometimes with males who are even a different breeds such as roller male get the border hen to invite mating with the border male in her cage. I bring this up now, because I am aware that my roller and border hens may come in quicker than I would like because of hearing the breeding song of Stafford and Colorbred males. To minimize this, I have moved roller and border hens as far away as possible to cut the risk. Sure don't want the trick to be on me!

Lights come on at 7 am to 6 pm which is the same as sunrise and sunset. I will turn up the lights suddenly to 14.5 hours when the males of all breeds are ready. The sudden change will stimulate them even more and the hens will start coming in after as little as one week to three weeks on the ABBA vitamin E.

All birds are getting L'Avian Plus Canary mix and assortment of greens daily. Fat males are getting petamine instead of canary mix. Males are also getting bee pollen twice a week and border veggies and petamine breeding formula daily. I also will give the hens petamine breeding formula every other day when I have enough males in breeding condition. Since that is the case, all hens got their first dish of petamine today. No nestling food is given to either males or females until pairing and then only till the hen completes her clutch of eggs. Just got my Miracle Supplement in, so I am starting first the cocks but in a couple weeks the hens on dry ABBA green 92 with Miracle added (4 cups ABBA green 92 or other dry nestling food to 1 tablespoon Miracle).


Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog and noticed elsewhere mentioning that you suddenly turn up the lights from 12 hours to 14+ a day.
My question is won't this frive the birds into a soft moult?
I and most breeders I know add about 15 minutes a week to their birds to reach the desired daylength

Linda Hogan said...

It is a common misconception that sudden lengthening of day length will cause birds to molt. It is decreasing day length that precipitates a molt!

When I am ready for my birds to molt, I turn off all artificial lighting and suddenly they go from the extended breeding 14.5 hours to natural day length which is much shorter and this starts the molt.

Day lengthening at 15 minutes a week works fine, it is probably fairly close to what is happening naturally as the days lengthen this time of year.

Sudden lengthening has an advantage of being very stimulating to the males and increasing their fertility. If I had the males in a separate area, I would turn the lights up suddenly when I start their conditioning.