On April 1st, 2014, I posted the first round photos of this Stafford male with a big dilemma. He had two lovely hens and they both hatched four chick each on the same day! He was a very busy papa running back and forth from one nest to the other!
Round two and the hens switched sides of the cage and each hatched three chicks on the same day!
The darker variegated hens three chicks are really hungry!
But once feed they are content and back asleep.
Likewise the mosaic hen hatched three chicks also! I notice her chicks are growing a little faster. Papa better watch out or the variegated hen is going to get her feathers ruffled!
Sure enough her chicks banded a day earlier!
I submitted a question previously regarding this method of "flat" or colony type breeding. What if any problems have you experienced with it? Have the hens been receptive to it, bickering/ fighting or did they immediately settle down and go ahead with breeding.
WOuld a double breeder cage of 1.2mt be sufficiently sized to try this with a trio of borders?
Shawn: Usually it goes very well with rollers, colorbred and Stafford.
It can have bickering etc but I have good luck when the hens are at the same stage and ready to nest. I often cage the two hens together with three nests a few days and let them chose a nest and start building before the male is introduced. If two hens want the same nest, I put two side by side with a perch in between.
The cage pictured measures 30 inches wide, 17 inches high and 17 inches depth.
I have not had luck doing this with borders but it has been a couple of years since I tried and I understand Borders better now than even then.
Some Borders are hard to get to mate, the best way to get difficult ones to mate is the stricker method where the male is introduced when the hen has first built her nest and is desperately looking for a male to breed with. Upon introducing him in the cage she immediately squats and invites mating. I have a border hen who even if she has been paired early all season she is slow to nest and never gets around to inviting mating, so a few infertile eggs are laid. This is her second breeding season and it started out the same with male in with her, never got around to mating and first round infertile eggs. I took him out and let her get desperate and used the stricker method and she invited mating!
The idea of the male sticking and moving on, did not appeal to me but I learned that on some border hens striking works when it seems impossible to get the hen to invite mating.
To find the ones that are near ready, I put a ready Border cock in a hen flight and let him point out by his interest in specific ones which Border hens are near ready. If she isn't ready he won't even sing or do the macho dance for her.
I used larger cages that were 40 inches wide, and 17 inches high and 17 inches deep when I tried Borders.
Do not add a hen after the other hen and cock have been together as they both will fight off the new hen.
The same is true when introducing more birds to a cage, Introducing all at the same time avoids bickering. So if I must do it, I move them all to a new cage.
Thanks so much Linda!! Ur advice is always so great. Will try it with and report back on results.
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