Border Convention 2018 Breeding Survey

Breeding Survey Initial Findings from 60 Breeders

The Border Convention would like to thank all those who took the time and effort to complete the Breeding Survey forms and send them in.

1. A total of 871 Hens reared 1,465 chicks, an average of 1.682 / hen.
Highest Average of 4.1 / hen and a lowest of 0.4 / hen.

2. Lighting
14% used Natural lighting
44 % used Artificial Lighting
32 % used a Combination
29% used heating the majority of which were fanciers who started breeding before the 21st march.

4. Humidity
34% monitored humidity levels
22% used a humidifier
12% used other means (bucket of water, spraying, baths)
There seems to be some confusion between the use of humidifiers and dehumidifier.

5. Seed
96% used a commercial seed mix
4% mixed their own

6. Egg Food
100% used a commercial brand as a base

7. Green Food
84% fed green food with Broccoli being the most popular ingredient

8. Soaked Seeds
66% used soaked seed

9. Vitamins
64 % supplemented the diet with vitamins

51% used medication
49% did not

11. Grit
72% used Grit

12.Egg Removed
96% Removed Eggs

13. Chicks Topped Up
30% Topped up their Chicks

14.Hens Feeding
26% recorded Low level
34% medium Level
40% High level

15.Hens Showing no interest
58% of breeders reported hens showing no interest this equated to a total of 137 hens which is 15.7% of the total used.

16 Hens Dying
A total of 104 hens died during the breeding season 11.94%

16.Mite infestation
45% of breeders suffered a mite infestation during the year 70% of these were by red mite. ( there is an article already on red mite on the Download page)

The items highlighted in red are suitable subjects for articles and we hope in the coming months to produce articles on these.
Further investigation/calculation is needed on adding ingredients to egg food, and mortality rates in older chicks.

Mite Prevention

In the breeding survey 45% suffered with mite problems of which 70% were red mite and 30% were northern mite.
With this as with all problems in the bird room prevention is better than the cure.

Treatment for both would be putting a drop of Ivermectin (or something similar ) on the birds skin i.e. under the wing or on the rump above the base of the tail or at the back of the neck on the skin, I do my birds with a similar product to ivermectin and repeat at 7 days, then again repeat at a further 7days, which means a three week course to break the cycle of the mite i.e. killing the adults then in 7days killing any hatched mite eggs and again in 7 days to make sure I have eradicated them ,this is effective for northern mite which live and breed on the bird.

For red mite this treatment will kill any mite that go on the birds but the problem with red mite they live in the cracks and crevices of our bird room and only feed when the conditions are right for them, making it very difficult to eradicate.

There are numerous products on the market for spraying our cages and surrounding area which are extremely good i.e. Clean and Clear Checkmite , Poultry Shield and Banmite to name just a few ,but I have had mixed reviews from fanciers reporting the problem .

Red mite is very difficult to get rid of as it’s been reported that they can live for 12 months without feeding so any treatment has to be on going other treatments are Diatomaceous earth which looks like a powder but if mite crawl over it they get cut to ribbons as it’s sharp to them also various powders are available also a product call S76 and Redstop which goes in the drinking water and many more products , the answer to red mite is vigilance and continual usage of the treatment you decide upon .

Ronnie Sillitoe

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