Saturday, January 3, 2015
Send Your Questions or Suggest Topics To Big Bird - Banding - Hen False Start
The blog has 936 posts and I have tried to not be too repetitive so it seems like a good time to ask for questions or topics that you would like to have discussed. Please send your questions or topics to this post.
Banding Question: Which is the proper leg to band for closed bands, left or right? Which way should the number face?
I code my bands by which leg I band. Then at a glance I can tell what line I am looking at. I have also added codes to whether the band reads upright or upside down. Without catching the bird, I have lots of information.
Hen Problems Questions: Mike writes I would like to some advice on some of my Hens. I have about 30 pairs that I am getting ready for breeding. The problem is that two of my Hens have laid eggs in the food cup. I am not sure if I should set her up for breeding. All males and females are separated by a wire.
Will these extra infertile eggs make the Hen lay less eggs later on?
Three things bring birds into breeding behavior, Increase in Day Light Hours, Increase in Foods or Change in Diet and Improvement in Environmental conditions (raise in temperature and humidity).
The problem comes when one or more of the three factors gets ahead of the the others. Patiently working with the birds and supporting breeding behavior but at the same time not pushing them is the secret to success!
When deciding whether the hen needs to be set up, consider her total breeding condition and behavior. Invariably though we try not to push a few may jump the gun and make a false start! Hens that jump start are often laying only a couple eggs that are bluer colored egg called heat eggs, the result of pushing or the hen pigging out on stimulating foods.
If you let her set on the eggs you will slow her down, if you pair her after she starts laying, the eggs are likely going to be infertile as it is hard to get fertile eggs when eggs are already in the process of being laid. On occasion I have tried this and gotten maybe the sixth egg but that is hardly worth it where if I patiently wait and catch her next cycle correctly, she will produce normally.
If her abdomen is glossy, red and hot and I believe the problem is my not pairing her, I would move her to a different cage that even faces another direction if possible so that she has to reconsider her laying plan totally, pair her and give her several nests etc to try and get her to start all over with only a loss of down due to her illegal procedure!!
If she is in good condition, she will lay normally the next round. Hens that over lay one year may not produce the following year however.
More Hen Problem Questions: Brian writes: In the past I have had problems with hens laying eggs before they were even responding to the cocks and before the hens had developed their brood patch. Linda, what do you suggest may have been the problem, and how can I prevent it?
Good example of pushing. Patience, Patience, take it slow.... follow the birds clues ...make your methods forward moving and not jerky just slow and steady toward breeding.