Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hand Feeding AGAIN

Mother German Roller hen fed the August 16th hatching chick the first few days but greatly decreased her feeding after that. So here we go again, hand feeding and it is nearly September.

This morning I noticed a long flight feather so it looks like she is finally calling it quits for this year. Unfortunately, when my husband tries to feed the chick, it tries to hide and he gets rather frustrated and worried that if he doesn't eat for him, he will not survive. In spite of its hiding and not eating well when I am working second shift, the parents are feeding some and it is growing just fine.

This Weeks Breeder Reports, Questions and Comments

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Have you been wondering "Whats Happened to Big Bird"?

This has been a very hard summer for me. My fourteen year old Belgian Malinois Tosca, has a life-taking cancer in the pectoral muscle on his chest. His first surgery was on his birthday June 14th.

After two months, the cancer reappeared and since his chest x-rays were clear, he had a second surgery on August 19th. This time they took the maximum chest tissue and recovery has been much slower.

Two weeks after the surgery, in spite of a lot of fluid, the vet took out the stitches. This resulting in bleeding from the stitches and two trips to the vet that day to get fluid drained and more bandages...These times are never easy....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mixed Blessing

Records are made to be broken! Previous to this year, my latest hatch was July 4th. This year, two German Roller chicks were hatched on July 15th. These chicks did fine, hen feed them totally with no help, and they are now weaned.

Thinking the breeding season was finally over, I turned off all artificial lighting. To my surprise, yesterday, this German Roller chick hatched! But with no artificial lighting, it is very unlikely that the hen will feed.

Being the optimist I am, I turned my lights back on for 9 hours a day to give the hen some encouragement to feed. My first song competition being in late October, and most of my birds just over half way through the molt, that is all the extra lighting I can provide without messing up my other birds.

Today, another chick hatched and it looks like one more egg might hatch. But sadly, this morning, I found the chick on the left on the floor. And it has an unhealthy yellow color. In spite of my attempts to save it with hand feeding, it will likely die.

When I heard the male singing a couple of weeks ago and the hen started laying, I wish, I would have split them up and taken the nest away. It is easier to throw away eggs without knowing then see chicks die because they hatched just too late to survive...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mousey, Is She A Girl Or A Boy?

Mousey is One of the Late Blooming Stafford Mosaic Chicks.

After my husband Pat reported that Mousey was big enough to shave, I stopped babying it and sure enough it finally started eating on its own. Among its favorites are regular oatmeal, sunflower sprouts, corn and finally egg food.

This morning, Pat took the car in for servicing and I can't wait for him to get back so I can show him these photos, Mousey is not shaving but instead SHE is wearing lipstick!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

This Weeks Breeder Reports, Questions and Tips

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What's For Breakfast?

In addition to peas and corn and sunflower sprouts, I have added sprouted wheat. I can buy it directly from the farmer as he harvests it or from the feed store or a health food store.

Wash the wheat thoroughly and cover with water for a couple of hours, drain and leave in the bowl for easy sprouting. Rinse daily or as needed if it driers out.

When I am in a hurry, it all gets scrambled!

Critical Concept: Increasing the proportion of dietary carbohydrates after the mid-point of the molt will help finish the molt!

Squirrel enjoying a sunrise tomato breakfast in my back yard! Glad he chose a Celebrity tomato variety and not my precious Heirlooms!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Creating a No Fly Zone

Are some of your birds too thin?

Birds that are too thin are high risk to die during the molt. It is important to provide special conditions for thin birds that promote weight gain, just gaining a few grams can restore their health and save their life!

Separate out thin birds from medium or heavy birds and group the thin birds in as few per cage as possible. Then place numerous perches and extra feed dishes and water that are easily accessible to the birds so that birds will hop around rather than fly.

Watch the birds to determine how many perches are necessary. In my breeder cages, four perches place in the lower middle level of the cage keeps them hopping but still avoids letting them hanging on the wires. If they hang on the wires, you will have to raise the perch level.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Livin' On The Edge

This Stafford mosaic chick has been hand fed all its life. I feed him several times a day and when I am working, my husband Pat feeds him.

After having been off for a week, last Friday I reminded Pat that I was working the next five days and he would need to feed him again while I am working.

But Pat laid down the law, he was absolutely not going to feed this chick anymore! "Why, shucks Linda, that boy is big enough to shave!"

And all the time I thought Mousey was a girl!

So each day, right before I leave for work, I take his hand feeding dish and sculpt the Exact around the edge. Each morning, when I take the dish out, all of my sculpture is gone!!

This Weeks Breeder Reports, Questions and Tips

Please post your current unrelated questions and comments here.

Poultry vitamins are an inexpensive and easy way to provide vitamins and some minerals to our birds. They are available at feed stores for about $4. I use 1/4 teaspoon to a gallon of water and change the water daily. Give it a try and you will notice the birds perking up like they have been to the spa.

Breeder Report:

Leng reports on his Border breeding season:

I just wanted to let you know that the soybean/broccoli mix worked
well for me. I ended up getting 21 chicks out of 4 hens this season.

I was consistent throughout the breeding season with feeding the
soybean/broccoli mix to the cock birds and non incubating hens twice a

I was also very consistent with daily water changes and other
bird room chores.

I feed a small portion of the soybean mix in the morning and
another small portion in the evening a few hours before
the lights go out when I am home from work. I also start to add the
soybean/broccoli mix into the egg food for the hens with chicks that
are more than 8 days old.

I no longer feed any vegetables to hens with chicks that are less
than 8 days old after seeing healthy 3 day old chicks stuffed with
green peas in the evening die the next morning
with swollen red crops. I have no special reason for selecting the
8th day as the day when I start to introduce a small amount of soybean
mix except that the chicks look bigger and stronger after 8 days old.



Lissette asks "I need to know when to stop feeding my babies with egg food and boiled eggs?"