Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Deceptive Hen Leader

Following the hen's lead, although a good general philosophy, does not always work!!

Remember the article March 4 titled "Unplanned Outlier"? The original plan was to pair the majority of my birds on St. Patrick's Day when the hens would have had the ABBA vitamin E three weeks and the cocks six weeks.

But during a routine hen check on March 4th, I discovered German Roller hen 739, an 08 hen, looking like she was ready to be paired. Since I was going out of town to the National Cage Bird Board Meeting in Jacksonville, it seemed that in view of her abdomen, I should pair her immediately and just accept the fact that some hen's listen to a different drummer!!!

The best male to pair her with was an 06 German Roller DKB 3506 and although promising, he was not quite ready, I went ahead and paired them and turned the lights up. When a ready hen is paired with a male who is not ready, either see will try to kill him or she will slow down and at times totally re-cycle to get in sync with him. She immediately built a nest.

A week later, his vent look better and since she had not laid, I was some what encouraged but I remember seeing a faint wrinkle on her abdomen and wondering if she was going to re-cycle but alas she was sitting so tight..

Male one week after the lights were turned up.

A week after pairing the hen had a larger red area but I noticed a few faint wrinkles.

Each day I have been anticipating gathering her eggs but day after day has now gone by and nothing!! Let's see she has been spoofing me now about three weeks!! Not bad for a bird brain!!!

Today, I gave her the exam she deserved after all of this she has put me through and it is apparent she has gone totally out of breeding condition and no eggs will be coming soon!!! The game is over!!! Checking her records, she did raise one clutch last year and one of the males was a fine singer!

Examining the male, he has continued to make good progress!! Yet he is the silent type and unless she starts begging he could care less if she is in his cage...

So what should I do now? A catchy old gambling song started running through my head.....you got to know when to hold, know when to fold, know when to walk away, know when to run ......

So should I let her hold because she wants to sit or fold and take the nest away because this sitting game could go on forever??

Get your comments in now and I will continued this story Tomorrow!


Rich said...

Generally in this situation I would say to put her in A large flight for a week, and feed her a little eggfood. I have that same situation with a hen I really want to breed because she is a Naquin cross I raised and her brother is a really good male. Every day I check the nest and nothing, I gave her some Vitamin E in hopes she will do something. Good luck, sometimes they are just determined to do things their way.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here to suggest that if she is continuously sitting with heat, give her someone else's eggs to foster. Sometimes I found that the act of feeding chicks will bring the correct hormones into balance.
I use light blue glass marbles from the craft store as fake eggs and use that as a guide to the hen's heat.
I'm sure you've a good solution in mind.


Anonymous said...

Hi Gorgeous,

I would rather just take away the nest and return her to the flight. Let her have some more of the ABBA Vit E and soon she will be in full breeding mode. Once she starts acting frantic, take her back to the male but tease and please her with a slide, until he feeds her and makes her more broody, if he sings to her she will become more receptive to taking on motherhood - I am certain you will get chicks off her yet!
Just my 2c.
Good luck

Jimmy said...

What do you feed your males to get them in really good condition.

Linda Hogan said...


I use ABBA high fertility water soluble vitamin E in the water once a week. 1/2 teaspoon to 1 gallon and the males really improve. I also suddenly change the day length to 14 1/2 hours plus 30 minute dimming. I also use ABBA breedmax and feed some soy products.