July 31, 2019

July In the Bird Room --- Month by Month Journal

Last Day of July 2019
I learned SO MUCH this season!
Most of my new diet plan seemed to work as I hoped. I am still making decisions about which parts to keep, and which parts to change.
I will soon be sharing my observations of the new diet plan!

This is the month I begin to place hens in larger flights, and the males in groups of three if they seem to get along well together.
The MOLT is beginning, and I am increasing the amount of soft food and protein.
I am also watching the cages of youngsters.... I am VERY HAPPY with nearly every one!  It will be hard to decide which ones to keep and which ones to sell!
Oh, what a great dilemma to have!

I am also looking over my older birds.... I will be eliminating some of them from my breeding plans, as I make room for the young ones.
I recommend these articles on other websites:

No Guts: No Glory! Taking a Chance Pays Off!

I learned two valuable lessons, and they will make me a better breeder, so I am sharing them with  you.

Lesson # ONE:
Every year has different and various 'out side' factors, besides the breeder's work, that influence the final outcome of a breeding season! 
Some of these influences are easy to see, but others are vague and uncertain.  USUALLY, other breeders in your area, maybe even worldwide, are having the same 'problems' in their bird rooms!  So, remember not to take bird room problems to heart!

An EXAMPLE from this season:
  • Problem:  Lack of Bonding Resulting in Infertile Eggs
    This year, I had an unusually high number of pairs fail to 'bond'.  They just didn't like each other.  They did not fight, but they paid no attention to each other, that I observed while I was in the room.  Normally, I would expect mating to happen when I was not watching.  In the past, I have seen pairs that did not bond at first, become faithful and loyal partners as soon as the chicks hatched and needed feeding.  BUT, this year, they did not produce any fertile eggs.
    Possible Cause:
    In years past, I never used split cages to slowly introduce the pairs.  This year, I purchased several sets of split breeding cages for most of my pairs!
    I should have had more success, not less!
    Other People:
    Several of my breeder-friends reported similar or identical problems, even with experienced two-year old birds!  Also, Red Factor Man uploaded a video in which he stated that what started out as a good season has ended up being a poor one for him.  He then goes on to show several pairs who did not produce fertile eggs, or did not feed!
    He said he had seen videos posted by other breeders with similar problems.
    My Solution:
    I swapped mates, and with time and new partners, they began to hatch youngsters.
Another problem I had was the newly purchased birds not producing, and actually dying!
I bought 12 new birds last fall, and 4 have died!
I have a total of 7 chicks from those 12 new birds!
The story how I got THOSE 7 is my second lesson-learned!
I decided taking a chance, trying unfamiliar things.... might be just what I needed to reach my goals!  I decided to follow my instincts!

So, I interfered! I am a very vocal advocate for a 'hands off' approach to in the bird room during breeding season.  But this spring, I meddled in the birds' lives!  And, WOW, am I glad I did!  (continued-->)