Messing w/ Hen Nesting

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
25,613
15,994
766
Holts Summit, Missouri
Hen being used for something else will be watched closer than usual for nesting behavior. Birds from to different lineages so will be an outbreeding of sorts. Chicks will be interesting to look at.

Hen / pullet below. Eggs currently on small side. She has spurs and is the least easy to handle bird on whole place. Working on that.

Her mate is a 3 year old cock. He does not look so nice now because he got into a couple fights through wire. He is tamest male side bird I have and will come in from any where when called "Edgar". Bad habit is he flies up on my shoulder to crow then flies down to repeat. Somehow I am a mobile display site. Gets along with kids great.


Both housed in a commercially sourced coop designed for backyard applications. I modified it function as a chicken tractor. Will not repeat that with such a flimsy and top heavy design. This used for only a pair of birds. Cock will be removed about time nest has 8 eggs in it so likely about Thursday.


Nesting chamber normally has three nests. I pulled partitions making for only one. Then I placed a woven basket with about 1/2 deep grit I like to use for filming and placed it into the nesting chamber.

This how things looked this morning. Three eggs laid one per day on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Note the paper. I did not do that. Sheet of paper was intact outside top of image. Hen, or rooster, pretty sure former processed that paper breaking it up into pieces as shown. Doing so with beak only would be tough so seeing that done again might be cool.


My manipulation involved removing paper pieces.


Then I added some fresh hand-pulled green grass and mint to same location paper was acquired. Makes for a really sweet smelling setup that might repel skeeters.




Now we watch to see what happens. Will she move material to incorporate it into her nest? Or has window for that behavior closed with production of first egg?
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
25,613
15,994
766
Holts Summit, Missouri
No additional egg or modification yesterday. One egg today and some greens moved to form start of bowl for nest perimeter. At least some modification occurs after start of egg deposition.
20170612_191513.jpg
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
25,613
15,994
766
Holts Summit, Missouri
Also note the absence of feathers. I collected hen off roost she used free-range overnight. Her brood patch was easy to feel. That is a point I keep trying to drive home with respect to chickens; hens do not pluck their own feather for incorporation into nest lining. Nor are feathers lost to expose brood patch. If latter where the case, feathers would be laying about unless she or rooster consumed them.
 
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centrarchid

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
25,613
15,994
766
Holts Summit, Missouri
It was dark and handy. Try to improve contrast for seeing eggs. May complicate egg issues. I tried oyster shell which easier on eggs although cannot see eggs. I have been following a lot of broods with camera and yet to find perfect substrate. Will try colored aquarium gravel next time.
 

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