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...


Stavros ganios said...

Hi Linda,
If I may ask, how many clutches this german import hen had so far this breeding season?
Best regards,
Stavros Ganios
North Canton Ohio

Linda Hogan said...

The male is two years old and the hen one year old.

He has been with her the whole breeding season. She has had four clutches. They raised three in the first clutch and then hatched two in each of the subsequent three clutches. In each of the clutches after the first, the second chick was fostered as it was so much smaller than the first chick to hatch except in the last clutch where one chick was unhealthy and died. So that means I have 10 chicks from the pair but they only raised six.

Linda Hogan said...

Oops, math error, that means I have eight chicks from the pair!