Sunday, April 12, 2015

Why Are These Hens Nests So Close? Trio Breeding

Two Columbus Fancy Hens Nesting Side by Side

Crested Papa, on the Right

He pays attention to both hens.
My oldest daughter Sandy, has been helping me each morning in the bird room. She has had chickens for at least twenty years so teaching her all about canaries is relatively easy. As we were feeding, gathering eggs, watering, and setting up pairs and trios she ask me "Why are these two hens setting so close together?"

To make trio breeding easier, I try to get two hens at the same developmental stage and put all three birds in the breeding cage at the same time. I put at least two nests in the cage but at opposite ends of the cage. Most of the time, one hen chooses one nest and the other is happy with the other one.

On occasion both hens will decide they want the same nest. So the easiest solution is place both nests at the same height and close together.  In this case, immediately the problem was solved, each one is happy! I left a little room so I could move the nest closer if needed.

At times, the nests have needed to be actually touching for the hens to accept separate nests. It is very cute when the chicks are 14 days old they will venture out to the other nests and at times they all try to crowd into one nests. Often the hens will feed chicks in either nests.

Even when only one hen is in the breeding cage when chicks are 14 days old, I like to add a second nest immediately adjacent to the original nest to give them more room and make the original nest less crowded.


Brian Rowe said...

Fascinating, Linda. This is especially interesting and informative to me, since I am using two triple breeders. The mistake I made was that I did not put the two hens closest to breeding in the same cage. Instead, I put one hen very close to breeding and one not so close to breeding together. Next year, I will know better thanks to your blog post.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

So with trio breeding you skip the romancing stel altogether? With single pairing I use a wire divider between the cock and hen so that they get friendly with each other and the cock feeds the hen. If I went with a trio do I understand correctly that you keep the hens on their own until they are both receptive and the just add the cock bird? Won't it cause fighting?


Linda Hogan said...

Hi Shawn

I also use single pairing and wire divider trick and that really works!

When I use trio breeding it is because I have more hens to breed than cocks and I too many to move him around. Sometimes I do that and use him for the stricker method.
Some hens only breed that way.

I use many techniques depending on the situation.