Spring Hints

Eggs and Fertility

With winter sniffles and wet weather over, the grass begins to grow and young roosters begin to show their mettle. It is a vitally important time for the breeding fowl as they need good vitamin supplies – usually double that found in layer rations.

Hens and pullets should not be allowed to grow too fat as that makes them poorer layers. A good average is 125 grams of quality feed a day (probably half of what those of you who “love” you birds feed them!). Quality feed is around 17% protein and contains trace elements, vitamins, calcium for shell growth and greens (lucerne meal is good if there is no grass around).

Watch the fertility of your eggs and change your rooster quickly if it is poor. Fertility may start at 20% but should rise to a normal level for the breed within a month – this could be from 60% to 95%.

Stopping Cluckiness

You may not want to stop you hens from going clucky, but beware the one that goes clucking in the main laying area. If you allow it to stay there, you will end up with a massive pile of eggs under her which she cannot cover and which will come out at odd intervals. Don’t let this happen.

Shift the clucky hen into and area of her own under a few eggs. In a day or so, place under her a dozen of her own sized eggs (preferably at night) and take the others away. She will now sit and hatch them all at the same time.

If you don’t want clucky hens, place cluckies in an uncomfortable environment, not is a nice warm straw filled box – somewhere with a wire floor and with lots of greed feed to eat. They usually get over it in 3 or 4 days that way.

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