I took these photos yesterday in my aviary. I have thirty nest boxes, twenty eight with active pairs - more than I want right now. I am pulling hens as they finish up their second, and in some cases, third nest of the season. I introduced several year old male recessive pieds to the flock this year, and the result has been many clear pieds and several DEC's, which are much in demand. I haven't actually sold any of them yet though. I'm thinking I might just keep them for a future breeding experiment. Here a a few photos of my hatchlings.
Here are a few more.
This is the last for now.
Last edited by Pretty boy; 08-13-2015 at 07:51 AM.
Reason: Mergd Posts.
I have been breeding, off and on, for over 40 years. My pairs actually don't keep me as busy as I would like to be. I spend a time working on making their quarters more safe and comfortable, do banding and record keeping every few days, (I still use a 4x6 card, of my own design), and spend time every day sitting quietly in the vestibule, observing. This last is both my pleasure and my vital duty. Relationships among the breeding pairs can change daily. While the males get along fairly well, females are another matter. Adding a new hen to the flock, or even removing one, can have bloody consequences. I like to make only small changes, but those are often the most difficult. Only yesterday, a promising young hen who had not yet mated, turned murderous, and attacked nest box 13, killing one of the four chicks inside, and severely injuring another, before I discovered the problem. Thankfully, such occurrences are rare.
As to finding homes for my chicks, I keep a local pet shop fairly well supplied with their pet stock. My real pleasure is in assisting others who are interested in getting started, or improving stock, in the hobby.
You can never know if you are finding them a good home, or sending them to their eventual death. I fear most the enthusiastic 9 year old. Her parents want to make her happy, but when her interest wanes, and daddy is saddled with the feeding and cleanup, an open window can become the solution to the problem. A sparrow hawk, or even a crow, then gets a free lunch.