German Roller Cock: Note his big chest and his molting at the wing butt.
Crowded nest with three Border chicks, crowded even before they are fully feathered.
Pair of Borders and their three weaning age chicks.
Breeding Season is Slowing Down
Chicks are still hatching but very few are hatching on the 13th day. More and more evidence that the breeding season is nearly over.
Today, the two hens which were are with the top German Roller Cock pictured above, are hatching. On his wing butts you can clearly see his is molting. Yet one of the two hens has three of four eggs fertile and the other hen, the one who laid double clutches, has four out of five eggs fertile. His high fertility is due to cooperative hens and the use of the ABBA water soluble vitamin E. His last dose was probably 4 to six weeks ago, but since vitamin E is a stored vitamin, it was adequate to still produce high fertility. I have observed this many times since using this product. Years ago, when I did not use this product, fertility dropped dramatically to nil when the cock started molting.
The second photo is a full nest of borders. With three big bodied chicks in the nest, they are getting crowded even before they are fully feathered. In a few days, I will add the second nest to give them more room and enjoy once again seeing the chicks switch nest before I even know they can do it! As you know by reading this blog, I love to see nest switching even when there is only one nest of chicks in the cage!
The bottom photo is a pair of borders with their three chicks who are weaning. The buff variegated hen in the foreground, laid her second egg today, which I promptly removed at 8 am to make sure it was not soiled. I would like to get the chicks out of the cage but the hen and cock are still feeding them a lot and they seem to have loud begging voices!
It is always amazing to me how dirty the breeding cage gets during the breeding season. I do a little spot pick up of the floor of yesterdays hard boiled eggs and dump soft food dishes daily, and exchange the nest for a clean one but that is it. Margaret calls it "going natural". The less you disturb the birds, the more they produce so I just have to ignore the poop on the walls etc till they all quit breeding!