Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014 Top Ten Border Breeding Tips

When the Northern Hemisphere bloggers are preparing for show season, it's breeding time in the Southern Hemisphere.  A Border breeder from South Africa has request that I write my top ten list for breeding borders and post it now for our Southern Hemisphere breeders. (Use search within the blog for articles that cover these points in detail.)

2014 Top Ten Border Breeding Tips

1. About six weeks before breeding coat the regular seed mix with fortified wheat germ oil. Use 1 cup to 50 lbs of seed.  To facilitate use 5 lbs of the mix with the one cup wheat germ oil and mix for a day or two, then mix into the rest of the 50 lbs seed. Feed this coated seed to all birds until you are ready for the annual molt.

2. Work to bring the cocks into breeding condition before the hens. Beginning giving cocks extra vitamin E six weeks before breeding in addition to the coated seeds. Start the hens on extra vitamin E three weeks before breeding.  Multiple vitamins should be fed at least twice a week. Bee pollen is an excellent conditioner.

Hens need extra calcium/D3 balanced with phosphorus for several months prior to breeding. As they approach laying they ingest more and more calcium. In areas with low iodine levels, adding some occasional to the water is helpful for thyroid function. If birds fail to breed try a little iodine, 6 drops vanodine to gallon of water once a week.

3. Keep a watchful eye on the both cocks and hens weight. Cocks that are too fat or too thin will breed poorly if at all. The fat cocks should exercise more (few perches up and down, window covered free flight, place food and water at different heights so they have to fly) and be fed a lower calorie diet of greens and untreated grass seed or petamine if available. Hens need some fat layer as feeding chicks will take a lot of fat off of them.

4. Thin cocks and thin hens need less exercise so place perches every few inches so they hop but do not fly. Feed them additional higher carbohydrate foods such as uncooked porridge oatmeal, cous cous and white bread. Thin cocks can have grocery store or health food store toasted wheat germ (Kretschmer Brand).

Make sure they are not thin because of mite infestation. Only healthy mite free produce chicks. Hot Shot pest strips are very effective against mites and last about three months. (Use search within the blog for articles that cover these points in detail.)

.5. House cocks in groups as the number one factor bringing the cocks into breeding condition is territorial fighting. Of course, should they get too aggressive and draw blood, separate them. Just a few days and the uninterested cock will start acting macho!

6. Stimulate the cocks with cooked quinoa and non-GMO soybeans (soaked in hot water to soften), processed in the foot processor and then mixed with processed veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower or whole thawed frozen peas. Keep an eye on the vent development.

Borders are very sensitive to high protein so keep them at about 16% protein and avoid using any added pure hard boiled egg to nestling food except to parents feeding chicks. Higher protein levels have a negative effect on their health, their breeding, and their feeding chicks. It can result in neurological problems.

Always add one lb of thawed frozen peas to four cups egg containing nestling food. Adding peas is the important difference that encourages Borders to feed their chicks. Provide extra dishes of dry nestling food with added CeDe Handrearing formula (18% protein - African Grey Parrot picture on the box) to approximate 16% protein levels. 1/2 cup CeDe Handrearing formula to 4 to 6 cups lower protein dry nestling food is good year round. My borders also like to feed chicks limited amounts of oily seeds such as sunflower chips, hemp and song food. Blattner siskin finch mix is excellent.

7. Increase total day length by 30 minutes each week until day length reaches 14.5 hours. Smaller canaries do fine with sudden change in a day but the more difficult ones are easier to work with by smaller increment increasing the day length.

8. Pair birds only when they are ready. Cocks vents pointed forward, red and rounded on the sides (engorged) and behaving like macho cocks. Hens abdomens should be red and hot to touch and swollen vents. A ring around the vent means they will lay very soon.

When possible, introduce the pair with divided wire cages giving the cocks treats and not the hen so she begs him to feed her through the wire. The breeding ready cock is the number one factor for bringing the hens into condition. When behaving appropriately, they are ready for pairing.

The striker method also works well where ready hens are introduced to the cock only for quick mating and not paired.  The advantage is that the same cock can be used with several hens and only reintroduced to the hen when chicks are 14 days old again for mating.

9. During setting do not feed nestling food or greens but offer a dish of hemp with other seeds. This helps keep the hen sitting tight and improves hatching rate.

10. Offer a second nest beside the first one on the chicks 14 day.  On the 18th day or when the first chick leaves the nest, provide dishes of CeDe Handrearing formula. Chicks are attracted to its light color and immediately start eating it as their first food.  Once they are eating other foods well, cut the amount of handrearing formula with dry nestling food (15% protein).

2014 Top Treatment Tips

Hanging dropping: Stop all oily seeds. Problem especially caused by flax (linseed) but also other oily seeds such as niger, rape, and maw (poppy). Oily seeds can cause bowl irritation. Borders are very sensitive to oil. They should be feed mostly 90% or more canary seed and supplemented with Blattner’s sisken finch mix and cous cous without extra oil.

Favor a Foot: Most likely protein overdose. Stop all egg containing food.

Sore bottom of foot or cut: Dip foot in Iodine such as vanodine.

Missing feathers around eye: Treat with baytril/enrofloxin (pigeon product from Belgium).

Nestling Diarrhea: Too much protein in egg food, drop amount of egg, add greens such as peas, offer dry nestling food, uncooked porridge oatmeal. Wash chick vent and peel off very light film that is nearly invisible but can seal the vent.

1 comment:

Suara Burung said...

Thanks for this great tips