Saturday, August 1, 2009

Another Little Red Hen - She Did It All By Herself!

When I took out the nest a few weeks ago, I was interrupted and accidentally left the ring in the cage. The ring is the reason the hen was able to pull this off. In the future, when I can't get a hen to sit in a nest even on the floor, I will try this new ring trick! With no artificial lights in the aviary, even with a flash, you can hardly see the nest of bronze chicks! Click on photo for a peak at these hidden chicks!!

Real Shocker!!

I am still in shock after returning from the aviary. In the highest cage in the corner, a pair of bronze, had raised one nest of chicks about mid-breeding season. A few weeks ago, I turned off artificial lights and prior to that I had removed the cage nest. Being terribly busy the last couple weeks with working sometimes two shifts in a 24 hour period, I have not had much time to write blogs or even watch my birds.

Being off today, I was feeding and checking the birds out when what to my surprise, I saw a couple of heads pop up and beg for food in the highest tier back cage corner! The little red hen had laid the eggs on the floor, successfully hatched them and feed her three perfect bronze chicks with absolute no help from me!

She had only been getting a seed mix, small piece of fresh white bread on most days, and maybe a green now and then, yet she had three beautiful stuffed chicks! I was barely able to band them so I think they are about five and six days old, likely hatching approximately July 27th, just as most of my birds are at least half way through the molt!! This substantially breaks my aviary last chick hatched record, which was previously July 4th!!

See the Rest of the Story in the Comments to this posting!


Dor said...

hello! ur website is amazing and i am a big fan of this site...i don't live in the states but i am a canary breeder..I like border canaries..good luck

Rich said...

Wow now that is dedicated hen. Rich

Linda Hogan said...

Another amazing thing about this story is that this pairs first nest caused me a few gray hairs as it seemed I was always wondering if she would adequately feed her chicks!

Given enough seclusion and privacy, she is fantastic but the more eye contact, checking, and perhaps meddling the worse she does.

This reminds of a pair of rose mosaic lipochrome canaries that I desperately wanted to breed. I try every trick I knew and no luck. Infertile, not feeding just one problem after another. Finally, in desperation, I turn them loose in the aviary.

To my surprise, they collected nesting material from around the room, and built their nest on top of the highest wire cage. Oh well, I thought, this is a scary way to raise chicks out in the open with a six foot free fall to the floor.

I did put out nestling food, seed and water but given these more natural condition they successfully raised every chick and produced three or four in each nest.

It is hard to accept but difficulties in breeding may not be the birds but rather us!