The next thing to consider is the shed. I have mine fully wired electrically, with both fluorescent and heating, so I am in ultimate control of the birds environment – if I get it wrong then I am to blame. Circumstances dictate that I have no windows so no natural light.
My conditioning goes like this :
Weekend of 30th November: I will run 3 hens and 1 cock in treble breeders, preferably the hens that the cock will be paired to in the spring
You may have noticed that when you first put nest bowls in your breeding cages the hens are scared of them, try putting one upside down in the flight cage before breeding starts – this gets them used to having the strange object in the cage when next bowls introduced for breeding purposes.
About the 3rd week of February I will put the hens in the respective breeding cages and check claws and trim vents. The feathers are then cut away from around the vent and the toe nails are trimmed. It is still a week before pairing up and this is enough time to allow the birds to get over the ordeal of all this.
The cocks will be brought back into the front shed at this time too
So by 1st week of March, hens in breeding cages, trimmed, toe nails done and cocks back in main shed – all on 14 hours light