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Maiden Hens

At the moment the maiden hens are really testing my livestock breeding skills. Nothing can be taken for granted last week two pinkies died one was found squashed and the second was not being fed. I tried fostering the newborn hoping that once it had been fed it would be moved back. It was not to be and that was the second pinkie died.

I would normally try to pair up four pairs within a day, so as to give other feeding options, should the non feeding scenario occur. Good advice for any beginner but l did not follow the rule.

Not being fed

The birds are checked within of 10 minutes of arriving home and the softfood and feed pots are refilled. Nestboxes come next and it is strange how some maiden hens cause no problem while other hens are nothing but a problem.

Tonight is no different a newborn appeared to not have been fed and looked and felt cold. Great welcome to livestock breeding, l had read you can feed pinkies on the first day. Firstly l needed to warm the chick up, holding the chick in my cupped hand and gently blowing over the chick it soon started moving. Having already mixed some warm hand rearing food l manage to get the youngster to take some food. Just by presenting the food to the chicks beak the chick began to swallow and the crop soon started filling up.

Careful not to over feed the chick we certainly had more movement and looking better than earlier. The next few hours will be critical will the parents start to feed the chick.

Checking later it does not look good and l am expecting to find the chick dead in the morning.

Not good as expected dead, the hen just pushed it away from the remaining eggs. That’s the last 3 pinkies all dead  2 due to not being fed by the maiden hens.

My best foster pair had only just been split up at the weekend and would have been a better option. They had raised a couple of rounds so it was only time for them to have a break.

Most of the nestboxes have chicks just about ready to leave the boxes.


Sure enough another chick had hatch today from the maiden hen that refused to feed her 2 previous chicks. This time l did nothing and when the box was checked just before light out the chick had been fed. One more egg to hatch so all may not be losted and we may have 2 new additions to the stud.


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