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!!
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!