Monday, February 3, 2014

Hens Losing Breeding Condition

Lucca loves to fetch the paper but today he was feeling a bit ornery.

Just when I tried to take it, he ran up the stairs!

Question For Big Bird?

1. My young females had shown the breeding condition and improvement and I introduced my really ready males to them about one week ago, the improvement were continued but today I saw that they are going back and the stomach which shown really good were not improved and seems that they are going back from breeding condition, I need your advice and help.

Big Bird:

When birds revert from breeding condition it is usually due to a change in diet or method. It could even just be a sudden drop in temperature. Cool temperature will keep hens from laying. (I sometimes use this to slow the hens down when the hens are moving ahead of cocks.)

Addition to your diet  or increased frequency usually works but subtraction effects the birds negatively.  The only time I subtract or seriously change methods during breeding is if my results are pitiful and when you do that you can expect it will take another month to recycle them into breeding condition. 

Encourage your paired birds by giving them nestling food daily until she lays her last egg. Start nestling food again when chicks hatch.

Vitamin E extra supplement that is given daily in the water for conditioning is continued for birds after pairing but should be stopped when the hen lays her first egg. I do continue the seed coated fortified with wheat germ oil (1 cup to 50 lbs seed mix) throughout the breeding season. This amount does not negatively effect the hens or cocks. 

If you are sure the cocks are ready and feeding the hens, you could encourage the hens to proceed by adding wheat products to the diet. Wheat germ or cous cous could do the trick to get the process started again. 

If the cocks are not feeding the hens, put in a wire divider, give treats to cock and let the hen beg him for feeding through the wire and keep them separated until that happens. This gets the hens moving forward and makes sure that the ready cock is not denying the hens food.

 Make sure that you have not decreased lighting as that precipitates hormone changes and leads to molting. 

If you haven't made any subtraction changes and you can't blame it on a sudden drop in aviary temperature, it could also be breeder getter's caused by micromanaging and is fixed by just being patient and giving the birds more privacy! 

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