Friday, February 26, 2010

Making Oklahoma OK

Traveling To Oklahoma!

Would love to see Scotty's expression when he notices that hiding behind the 06 (orange band) Border hen, is an 09 (red band) Border hen!

Wildest Border Dream Comes True, Two Hens!

These Gals Are Sooner Bound Today!

After the National Cage Bird Show in November, Scotty Rattray of Tulsa, Oklahoma called me. He said that he is trying to get back into breeding Borders and was lucky enough to purchase the cock donated by Paul Dee at the North American Border Club Meeting, but alas he had tried and tried and he was unable to find a hen to go with him. The cock is a yellow feather type and he needs a buff feather type to pair with him.

Each time he called, I promised I would look through my Borders and maybe I could spare an older hen but that I only raised one buff feather type young hen, all the others are yellow feather type. So he should keep looking and calling Border breeders.

By mid-January, Scotty had called everyone he could think of and called me again. Normally, most breeders would not consider an old gal that is four years old but Scotty was excited and said he would take anything I could spare old or not!

Checking my breeding records later, I noticed that the older hen was a consistent producer, records show she produced three chicks in 07, four chicks in 08 and three chicks in 09. But still she is four years old.

Wondering about the odds of her breeding this year, I examined her closely, she has a good fat layer and her feet and legs look like a much younger bird, so I think she will do just fine this year and at least produce a nest. Click on each of the pictures and compare the feet and legs of the old bird with the young hen.

The more I thought about Scotty and his strong desire to breed Borders, I thought about the opportunity to bring a little extra sunshine into his life. I decided that when I send the older hen, she would be accompanied by my young buff hen!!

Luckily, I was able to catch a ride for the birds to Tulsa today with my friend Michelle. For the trip, in addition to seed and water, they will get orange and cucumber. I quarter and peeled the cucumber so that if it turns over, they can still eat it easily.

Scotty will meet Michelle in a specific Walgreens parking lot right off the interstate in Tulsa. Only wish I could see his face when he realizes that I sent him two hens!

Transitioning the Hens

1. The hens are accustomed to natural day length. Tomorrow Scotty will put them on 14 hour days plus 30 minute dimming.

2. Tomorrow, Scotty will give them their first weekly dose of ABBA fertility vitamin E.

3. Aviary temperature will remain the same as mine 58 F till pairing which is anticipated to be in three or four weeks and at that time it will be moved up to 68 F.

4. Diet will remain Bird of Paradise vitamin coated seeds but I have changed from their regular vitamin coated seed to my special vitamin coated blend which contains flax instead of millet. If you have the regular just add some flax to it and when you order next time, ask for my special blend of vitamin coated seeds. (To order call Nancy at 1 800 878-2473 or 316 263-0850.)

5. Scotty will continue feeding them as they are accustomed: regular oatmeal free choice and continue feeding soft white bread, 1/4 slice per bird daily, fresh leaf spinach and sprouted rape several times a week. Extra higher protein seeds will be added gradually.

6. No nestling food containing egg till pairing and no extra heavy wheat products till they are ready to lay naturally. Begin offering Breedmax one tablespoon to four cups of ABBA Green 92 two or three days a week.

No Doubt About it, Oklahoma is OK!!

Sorry to delay this post but just in case Scotty would read this blog during the day, I have delayed the posting till he will be on the way to pick up the birds!

UPDATE Scotty called and was overwhelmed he just couldn't believe I sent the young hen too! As Scotty put it, "I was so happy I could dance right there in the Walgreen parking lot!!!"


Anonymous said...

OMG Linda
How great that will be for Scotty.
Be sure to let us know his response! This is good - this is how bird breeders should be.

These are seeds of friendship that you are sowing my dear.


Leng said...

That is very nice of you Linda. I know how hard it is to acquire borders in North America. I went through the same thing when I was trying to get into the hobby. It's nice when someone helps out and it will only benefit the hobby when we have more fanciers.

Anonymous said...

I am so envious of Scotty, but at the same time so happy for him! From personal experience, I know that many people will SELL you the birds that they have no intention of ever keeping (ie that should be sold to a petshop as a pet bird)and then make you believe that they have done you a HUGE favour!! With competition being some peoples ultimate achievement, the newcomers are often left begging for table scraps - well done Linda on setting a wonderful example!