Aggressive Male and Hen That Won't Sit


Letter

We are having a problem with our two kaks that are currently breeding, the male won't let the female in the nesting box to lay or sit on the eggs. He broke one of the eggs, we separated them with a barrier of cage material but he is still getting her out of the nest by calling her repeatedly and attempts to feed her through the cage material. What should we do? Our hen also sometimes won't sit on her eggs, they get cold from time to time, then she goes in and sits on them. Is this okay? Should we set up a heated box for the eggs she won't sit on? Before the male would sit on the outside of the nesting box and guard it but he now chases her out and almost attacks her, he pounces on her. Then he mates with her and feeds her, he really has attitude.

Reply

You definately have a problem. Most hens can raise the chicks fine without the assistance of a male so you could try seperating the pair completely (out of sight and sound) once the eggs are laid. Periodic cooling of the eggs is alright but some hens, like my first one, leave the eggs for too long. She rarely ever sat on the eggs and they actually got cold or she'd lay so many that she couldn't possibly cover them all. If your eggs seem to be doing alright (candle them to watch progress) and they hatch then I wouldn't worry about it. If she's letting them get too cold though I'd suggest fostering them under another pair (tiels work for me) or incubating them yourself.

Feisty Feathers
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