The nest has been made but only few eggs or other problems - Wout van Gils.
Successful pairing requires good preparation before the onset of breeding, a fact well recognised by all breeders. Nonetheless many questions do arise around this time regarding breeding failures. These include “what have I done wrong?”, but more often than not the birds are blamed.Of course there is the possibility that the birds are not satisfactory or not quite 100% right, but a sound preparation should ensure that breeding progresses normally. A number of possible causes should be mentioned in the hope that the breeder can identify the cause of the poor start and learn some lessons. I assume that the preliminary work involving proper exposure to lighting has been carried out. Other problems that may surface are:
1 – Birds continue to fight.
With a good preparation either the cock or the hen is placed 10 to 14 days earlier in the breeding cage. Whether the cock or hen is placed first depends on personal preferences. When the partner is then introduced and both are in good health the two will generally click within a certain time and all will be well. But you may also experience that the birds continue to fight and fly at each other. This means -
A – Birds are not in breeding condition.
B – Possibility of two males.
C – Birds too young – not nine months.
D – The hen has bonded to the call of another cock.
The solution resides in one of the above causes and it is up to the breeder to identify which particular cause and take the necessary remedial action.
2 – The hen makes the nest, but then pulls it down again, etc.
After pairing you generally see the hen beginning to build her nest 3-4 later and provided that the hen is in breeding condition this will proceed very quickly. On the other hand you may see the hen pulling the nest down again and choosing another spot (eg., feeder). The making of the nest has turned into a hunt for a suitable place. This again can have several reasons and it is once again up to the breeder to identify them and take appropriate action.
A – Hen can not find a suitable place for her nest. Action – hang the nest elsewhere.
B – Hen is too young.
C – Pairing has not yet taken place.
D – Hen is not in breeding condition.
E – Provide other nesting material. Try a synthetic nest.
The solution lies with one of the above factors. Breeder to identify and take action.
3 – Hen only lays a couple of eggs.
Too few eggs laid again indicates that the birds are not 100%. At the risk of repeating oneself the cause is generally one of the ones already stated above, but it is an area sufficiently important to again dwell on.
A – Hen too young.
B – Hen too old.
C – Inadequate time taken for breeding preparation. Attempting to bring into condition too quickly.
D – Insufficient grit and minerals.
Dear breeders - You will have seen that the reasons for poor egg laying correspond closely with one another, but will in fact also determine whether you have good, indifferent or poor results.Birds that are too young, placed into breeding cages too early will give rise to the above mentioned problems.These suggestions, I believe, will assist you in preventing many of these problems. Success! – Wout van Gils