Friday, July 3, 2009

Only Four Resourceful Hens Remain Persistent

This Stafford hen has resourcefully selected a feeding dish for her nest!

She optimistically sits on three infertile eggs.

This German roller has laid infertile eggs in seed on the cage floor and does not seem to notice that a couple of her eggs have rolled out from under her.

A closer look shows she really has a five eggs.

Here a couple of hens have gathered stray nesting material and feathers and have made a nest to share in the cage corner.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

The sound of fireworks outside is not deterring these last persistent hens from building nests and laying infertile eggs. Although I have started them on a lower protein diet complete with fine grind milo/corn free choice, they just do not want to leave breeding season and start their annual molt. Perhaps they are smart enough to not fall for the milo/corn molting trick!

In any case, the outside temperature has hit 100 degrees F and it is time to stop this fruitless late breeding activity and precipitate the annual molt! So I will abruptly turn off all artificial light in the aviary. Only natural light coming through the double standard window on the south, the two sky lights, and the double standard tree shaded window on the west will light the aviary. The aviary room is about six feet longer than a two car garage so the light coming in is dim and unstimulating but still has plenty of light for eating. Day length, likewise, is now much shorter as it is on the natural sun pattern instead of the extended hours during the breeding season.

Critical Concept: Dropping the level of light and the day length is an excellent way to facilitate a quick molt!


Anonymous said...

Those hens picked the prettiest china pattern to use for a nest.
I can't blame them !

Deb E

Anonymous said...

Linda, your little hens made me laugh. They are so cute. I have 2 hens that are not moulting too. Is your aviary outdoors? Taline

Linda Hogan said...

My aviary is inside and about 6 feet longer than the size of double car garage.

Now that I have turned off all artificial lighting, I expect the girls to move on to molting soon!