Monday, January 16, 2012

Heads Up Tips

Heads Up: Slender Hens (Click on each photo and compare)

Hens with a slender underline need to be checked for a yellow fat layer. This slender hen does not have a hint of fat. Unless she fattens up a bit, she will not come into good breeding condition. Give her a private cage or put her with like slender hens and feed fattening extras sunflower chips/pieces and soft bread.

Occasionally, fatten up a thin "hen", may surprise you as she is not really a she but rather a he!!

This hen shows a nice yellow abdominal fat layer. She is coming along nicely and will likely be ready to breed in about eight weeks.

Heads Up: Increased Mineral Consumption

When you have a lot of hens, it is helpful to watch hen cages for increased mineral consumption as long before laying, hens will eat a lot of mineral grit (ABBA mineral with oyster shell added).
Watching for mineral consumption is how I know which hens to catch first and give a physical exam to check for breeding readiness.

Increased mineral consumption is also seen before the 2nd clutch. Often I see a hen feeding chicks but eating a lot of minerals, this is a heads up to get the cock back in the cage as she is going to lay her 2nd clutch quicker than expected. Routinely, I put the cock back on the chicks fourteenth day but if I see her chowing down on mineral, he goes in sooner..

Heads Up: Low Priced Convenient Quality Broccoli

While at the National, Chirpy Chum Rich May, told me how he likes to use frozen broccoli in his nestling food.

I found this floret frozen broccoli at Aldi's discount grocer for only $1.09 where at the most popular grocer in Wichita it was $3.21. Fresh is selling regularly for $1.69/lb here.

Isn't this lovely! I move the package from the freezer to refrigerator and let it thaw there overnight for use the next morning.

After all that play while Big Bird writes this blog, its nap time.

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