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Why so much love for hens PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 29 February 2008

ImageThere is one thing for sure, not all breeders appreciate hen canaries.  Do not agree with this and personally think that hens should get more love and care than males.  Yes, we are happy to have good results from shows and everyone likes to win a prize but thanks to whom?  Already know the answer… Yes HENS. If sons win a prize (trophy or ribbon) it gets attached to hens flight cage.

If properly cared for hens can successfully breed for about five seasons or at least four.  The only way to breed them for many years is if you take one or two clutches maximum per season.  Male canaries play big roll in this especially if they help feeding babies.  I do not recommend for schoolmaster to raise chicks because it has an impact on his song, but other males are fine to assist in feeding. After molting is over you will not get the same quality of song you had the year before.

I do not breed young hens in their first year.  To me they are not ready to be mothers. Breeding second year results are much better.  First year is fine too (I do not recommend) but not all of them are good mothers.  All hens that I do not breed, good care is still necessary otherwise they won’t breed more than couple of seasons, especially if they lay many eggs during the breeding season.  If care is not taken they will keep laying eggs and give all they have.  There are three eggs built up in hen and for every other egg hen needs extra calcium. I recommend using Calciboost once a week all year long, breeding season two to three times a week.  Veggies; fruits; boiled egg; bread soaked in milk; quality seed diet; cuttlebone; and grit should be given all year long.

If calcium is not available it will be taken from their bones and organs, poor hens will get ill, if older hen most likely will not make it through the molt.  If roller hens give you good rollers you will need them for sure, so take good care of them before it’s too late.

When you see them nesting in food dishes or at bottom of the cage pull them out of flight to a separate cage, give them a nest and some nesting materials so they can lay eggs. Once they are done replace eggs with couple fake eggs.  If you do not remove them, they could break and smell bad, you don’t want that.  Hens will stay on their nests for a long time and will leave a nest on their own after they realize nothing is happening.  By the time they leave the nest season will be pretty much over. This will slow them down from laying more eggs and keep them healthier and much stronger for next season.

When decide to breed hens just wait for them to get to the top condition.  For new breeders, patience, patience and patience only.  If you rush them you will make it harder on them because your first clutch will be probably 20% fertile.  Give them some time and space you will see their interest in building a nest and that is one of the signs of them coming into breeding stage.  Catch that bird and take a look at bottom, if it’s swollen and red she is ready. If bottom is fatty, yellow she is faking and is out of condition.  Let her stay in flight and her time will come. For hens that are ready, it’s time for you to trim their nails, if necessary trim the feathers around the bottom but make sure not to cut the feathers that are sticking out because they are leading feathers for male to mount.  Same procedure as for non-breeding hens give them a nest but first make sure to powder the nest pad against red mites and other insects that could cause problems.  Put powder on their wings tail and between legs.  Make sure it stays on them for couple hours and after that let them take a bath.
Male rollers get conditioned much faster and his bottom should be sticking out in L shape red and swollen.  This is one of signs that they are ready for breeding.

I have heard from my fellow breeders and also read on the web sites that some people have problems with their hen building a nest and takes it apart again.  Reasons for this are; she is not ready; she doesn’t like the position of nest; nest exposed directly to sun.  Biggest reason is that she is not ready or too young.  Again, patience and space!

Some hens won’t feed young ones.  Reasons for this could be; red mites, hen being disturbed by breeder.  Red mites problem could be resolved easily, buy red mite powder.  Wash off the nest in hot bleached water, let it dry replace the nest pad and apply powder. Do the same for hen as described above. You will be lucky if you have a foster hen to take care of young ones otherwise it’s very hard to hand feed them especially for people with busy schedule.

Taking good care of your birds during the molt is a big key.  Once birds break the ice they will do just fine.  Molt is the hardest part of their lives so extra care is needed.

New breeders give your hen a space and peace; in return she will give you a good and healthy roller canaries.


Last Updated ( Saturday, 01 March 2008 )
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