Sunday, January 3, 2010

More Questions For Big Bird?

Post this week questions that are unrelated to current blogs here.


1. When should I start the cocks and hens on the weekly ABBA vitamin E fertility treatment?

2. Is it time to get some bee pollen to condition our birds?

3. Is it normal to find small feathers on the cage floor this time of year?


Rich said...

Hi Linda. How many weeks ahead of breeding do you start your males on Abba Vitamin E? I have been giving them the Vitamin E for five weeks now, and jumping the lights 30 minutes every Sunday. Do you give your hens Vitamin E as well, and if you do when do you start them? Right now they are all getting oily seeds once a week. Rich

Linda Hogan said...


I start the cocks about six weeks before I want to breed. The cocks will stay on the once weekly ABBA vitamin E treatment till molt so it does matter how long they are on it before you breed them, just at least three weeks before. Continuing the cocks on the weekly vitamin E, prolongs the cocks fertility..

I do not start the hens till cocks vents are rounded and red and they are ready.. This is generally about three weeks before I plan to breed them. The day I start the hens on the weekly ABBA vitamin E treatment, I turn the lights up suddenly to 15 hours. Small breeds will lay when they are on 12 hour days but I find that more hours to feed is good for the chicks and sudden light change brings the cocks in to prime breeding conditions.

Hens do not receive the weekly vitamin E after they lay their first egg. This is one reason it works so well as it is a common mistake to keep hens on high doses of vitamin E as they may desert the eggs and want to re-cycle to soon.

I take my cues for when to start the hens primarily from when the cocks are ready. Cocks get ready by territorially fighting with other cocks and the lengthen of days. Hens on the other hand primarily come in to full breeding condition by hearing a breeding ready cocks mating song! Especially if he will feed her and sing, she becomes receptive.

Increase in oily seeds is also good as these seeds are higher in protein and increase in dietary protein also brings birds into condition.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda - Just wondering if you are ready for a new shipment of our Bee Pollen for your birds?

Linda Hogan said...

It is time to get more bee pollen, an excellent conditioner, to feed the birds! I prefer to buy from Diane at Peggy's Pollen, at 320 243-4330.

Thanks for the reminder Diane, could you send me 5 lbs?

Linda Hogan said...

I am not sure where this question of finding small feathers on the cage floor got posted but I will answer it here.

It is normal to find small feathers shed at this time of year as the hens are losing these feathers off their abdomens to develop a brood spot. This is where the skin touches their eggs to better incubate them. Examine the hens for red and hot to touch bare abdomens with swollen vents means they are ready for pairing.