Monday, April 5, 2010

Border Colony Breeding - From Four Down to Two

Wanting to breed my best Border male to several hens, I placed the four most ready hens with four nest at various position in a flight cage. The green hen quickly picked the right hand corner and proceeded to defend her nest when any other hens were in the vicinity.

This Border hen picked the safe middle territory and was unconcerned about Border Wars!!

Unfortunately, the cinnamon variegated hen immediately picked the same nest!!

Both began to lay, first one and then the other in the right corner nest! The green was a bigger trouble maker, so I moved her and the original nest to the identical flight right above in the same corner. The green hen was very happy with her new identical location just the flight on top of her previous flight. The cinnamon variegated hen accepted a new nest in the old position with the other hen nesting in the middle, they are happy setting on fertile eggs while those in the top flight are completing their clutches.

This hen joined the green border in the top cage and no problems between them. Meanwhile, the busy male is frequenting this flight and another with three more hens!! This selection method efficiently save time as truly serious hens go right to work and the others can be moved on to another cage with nests all ready for them.

Hope you had a Happy Easter! My children and grandchildren enjoyed a feast with us! Wish you'll were here!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Gorgeous,

Seeing your borders breeding in a flight inspires me! Sad to hear about the lovely LVB hen that you lost!

Its Show time in SA! Would it be a problem to take the rollers' light down if the natural light is at the moment longer than the 11 hours that you recommend them to be on? This will be my first time showing them, and I have entered my three young males separately, in a trio as a team aswell as the two more frequent free singers in a duet. The third bird does not sing as much as the other two and I will start with the boiled egg and sprouted hemp seeds tomorrow.

Hope you all had a blessed Easter! HE is RISEN!

papasnag said...

HI Linda,

Your Easter dinner looked YUMMY!
I want to comment on the placing of your nests close to the floor of the cage on your colony breeding Borders. I'm surprised to see them on the floor rather than higher up in the cage.. Can you please comment on that arrangement? Thank you.

Linda Hogan said...

I place my nest where the hens want them. I put more nests than hens in the cage and offer several heights, then I eliminate the unpopular ones.

The green hen and yellow cinnamon are both low. But the other two are about a third of the way up from the bottom.

For some reason, everyone this year is wanting the left side of the cage.

If the nests are high, birds perch on them and soil them....

Linda Hogan said...

I think 10.5 hours is when the birds sound the best but should you drop the day length now, they will likely sing less...

I use white bread to help keep the weight on them. Give very little (1/6) of a hard boiled egg and only to those needing a boost. The egg will cause weight loss so make sure they are not too thin...

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda, judging from your pics you seem to be double buffing two of your hens. Are these deliberate pairings for this year.
Colony breeding Borders sure is a novel concept, hope it goes well for you.

Best Wishes

Anonymous said...

Linda, how big are your cages to allow 4 hens?

Anonymous said...

Linda, my cages are 34" X 18" X 18". How many hens do you think that would accomodate?

Linda Hogan said...

Except for the flight where I am breeding borders which are larger, my breeding cages are 30 inches long, 16 inches high and 16 inches wide. This size works well with two hens and one cock.

I start by balancing two but you may be able to move up to three as your cages are little bigger.

Sometimes I start with three and eliminate any trouble makers or non-receptive hens so it saves time and wasted cage space on hens who are not productive.

Anonymous said...

I have two trios set up and producing. They seem so tranquil!
Another question: how do you feed if one hen is setting and the other getting ready to lay? Thanks so much for the idea. It sure makes things easier than catching and transfering males.

Anonymous said...

Linda, one of my best males from 05 was infertile last year, and produced nothing with two hens the first round using the stud system. I set him up colony breeding and he had his first youngster hatch this morning. It sure made my day!
Sincere thanks for your mentoring.