Monday, June 1, 2009
Too Many Chicks For One Nest
Making More Room
A German roller hen hatched five chicks in one clutch. At times, I would find one or more chicks kicked out of the nest because there were simply no room for five big chicks in one nest.
A few days ago, I fixed the problem by provided a second nest at the same cage height. The chicks at this age, randomly switch nests and the cock and hen freely feed both nests!
In a couple of days, some of the bigger chicks will likely leave the nest and with two nests already in the cage, it will leave a nest free for the hen to lay her next clutch. When a hen tries to lay in a nest with residual chicks, the odds are high that even with prompt removal, some of the eggs will be soiled. With two nests the risk of soiled eggs is less and when the time comes for her to lay, I will move the nest with residual chicks to the other side of the cage leaving the original nest ready for the hen to use.