Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Today's E-mail - Problem Male Pulls Nesting Material
Sharon from Israel writes: I have a canary question and would truly appreciate your help! My hen laid 5 eggs, and she's now brooding. For some odd reason the male keeps perching near the nest and nibble at the hen's tail excessively as well as pulling at the nesting materials.
Fearing this may disturb the female, I have separated them using the divider in the cage. Although I placed the divider, the male keeps pulling nesting materials from his side of the cage, and tries (to no avail) to feed the female when she calls him.
I really want to unite them once the chicks hatch so he can help with the feeding , but am not sure if I should do so in case the male will keep harassing the female. Should I remove the male from the cage altogether? Is it safe to keep him with the hen once the chicks hatch?
Have you ever encountered such behavior on the male's part during breeding? So much is new to me in this process, I really want everything to go well for the young, first time couple and for me as a first time breeder, and will appreciate you advice in this matter .
Most of the time, the male is well behaved and an asset but when he bothers the nest or hen, it is best to take him out of the cage. Should you leave him in the cage, he likely would keep pulling nesting material until he destroys the nest and compromises the egg incubation. I would use a solid divider or another cage away from the hen so he will not disturb her.
I like to re-introduce the male when chicks are 14 days old as it seems to be a time when the hen is receptive to mate with him again and early mating, several days before the next clutch is laid, results in higher fertility rates.
If you want to try him before that, wait till you see the hen feed the chicks. Then see if he will feed her so she can feed the chicks. If he behaves himself and helps, he stays in, if not out he goes!
I have also found that the male is better behaved when two hens are nesting in the cage rather than one.