Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oh No, Docile Hens with Developed Vents

This morning I noticed that these two imported German Roller hens had eaten an unusually large amount of mineral grit, so time for an inspection, bottoms up.

Swollen enlarged red vent on one hen.

The other hen is almost as developed as the first one.

That means they are coming into laying condition. So what's the problem?

Laying condition and breeding condition are not necessarily the same thing and with these two docile hens, their lack of movements means laying is far ahead of breeding. Should they be paired now, they would be timid and run from the cock.

Egg fertility has a lot to do with the hen, does she call to him and beg to be fed and assume a mating position? Docile hens because they are not acting according to script, may even be attacked by the anxious cock.

The best thing to do to get the hens active and hopping back and forth and turning flips in the air in anticipation of breeding is to give them a dose of iodine. This could come from a variety of available iodine products such as vanodine, lugol's, or Ioford.

Since the hens also look a little loose feathered compared to my others I decided to give a two consecutive day treatment with Ioford with Dufoplus added in their water. This cocktail should be used at the first sign of lethargy and works remarkable well.

Update Photo Below: 24 hours after treatment, feathering is tightening up, wing carriage is improving and the hens are moving some. This is going to be a tough one, after the second day, I will put the hens one one side of a divided cage and a cock on the other side. The cock is the most important factor for bringing the hen into condition.

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