Saturday, September 13, 2014

Novice Yorkie Breeder Asks Big Bird

Dear Linda,

I am a novice Yorkshire hobbyist. I've just bought 30 birds 2 months ago. I am actually planning to breed them but i was wrong as i just realized that this particular bird is not easy to breed.
In this 2 months, i just try my best to raise and re-condition all the Yorkshires and 
make all of them healthy. But again it is very very difficult.
I have feed them w/ the best food i can get here is prestige mix seed by versele laga, 
haver seed, eggfood and i gave them apple and different kind of veggie everyday. Also i 
gave them vitamin( soluvite d by vetafarm)in their water everyday. 
They also take bath almost everyday and i put them under sun light twice a week but still 
i have not seen my Yorkshires in a very good shape, sometime they look like very sleepy 
and very quite. 
I am writing this email to you seeking your professional advise how to make all my 
Yorkshires back to normal and healthy condition. 
FYI, i am living in tropical country called Indonesia. I put my birds in semi indoor area 
which is not windy. The temperature is 27celcius in the morning, 31celcius in the 
afternoon and back to 29celcius in the night time. Pls advise if air conditioned room 
I really appreciate if you can give me some advise.

Big Bird: You are right, this is definitely not an easy breed to start with. You are trying hard to do the best for your birds and hopefully together we can get them healthy and breeding.

Be sure you have the males and females in separate cages. Separate timid ones sleepy one from others.
Your high temperatures are about where I start running the air conditioner here. Do the birds sit around with there mouths open? Birds do not have sweat glands so open mouths and spread wings means it is too hot. Otherwise the temperature is OK.

In order to breed them, they must be healthy. Check the weight on the ailing ones. Are they thin? If so add sunflower chips (pieces), cous cous with olive oil (see blog), regular uncooked oatmeal, and white bread.
Listen to the breathing for any sound of clicking. If so, google mites on blog and treat them immediately.

How much daylight per day are they getting?
Breeder: As I put them in semi outdoor room, they can get 10 hours daylight. But that is from indirect sun light as I do not put any light on top of their cage.

Big Bird: When the birds breed best here, they are 14.5 hours day length. When do your natural days get to that length? Are the wild birds breeding now?

I would not expect my smaller varieties to breed till a minimum of 12 hours but they do best at 14 hours. My Borders do best at 14.5 which is typical of larger birds.

At 10 hours, males here would not be singing the breeding song or doing the macho dance. How are they acting? The idea is to get the males ready first.

Birds tend to get up 30 minutes before sunrise and go to bed 30 minutes after so does that mean they are up 12 hours? Do you have a light timer? If so set it 30 minutes before they normal get up. It is critical that the light not be dropped as that precipitates normal molt. If the light per day varies because humans may vary and sleep in one day etc it makes them unhealthy after a time.

Breeder:The cocks are not dropping their wings when singing.

Yes some of them are losing feathers.

Some of them has clicking sounds in their breathing and i treat them with Ornicure already,
And some of them is very thin and i don't know how to cure the thin one. 
Big Bird: The clicking means you need to treat for air sac mites. google mites inside my blog. Ornicure I think is antibiotic if so it treats some bacteria not mites. First You Need to treat for mites immediately. and again ten days later. If you do not get rid of the mites, any chicks will be attack by the mites and die.
Losing feathers could be still molting or it might be soft molt. Lets get them on liquid B vitamins in the water.
Breeder: Tdy I have treated all the 30 Yorkshires w/ SCATT to eliminate Air Sac Mites. Can I see some improvement of health directly from this treatment?
Big Bird: Also make sure mosquitoes can't get them as you do not want canary pox. Treating should bring improvement.

 When you get them healthy and ready to breed, it is very important to trim the feathers around the vent and up a bit on the lower abdomen on the males to increase the chance of fertility.


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