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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A couple of months ago I posted a thread about a cock bird who had taken two young virgin hens as mates. In response to George Simon's advice to 'let nature take its course' I left things be and observed the behaviour. Just like to give an update for those interested:
Both hens laid eggs within about 2 days of each other, both on the loft floor where dad (Stalin) dictated, and next to each other. As this coincided with my installation of new nesting boxes in the loft, both were disturbed by our 'Bob the the Builder' comings and goings and the eggs were abandoned. Stalin proceeded to mate with both hens for another round. This new egg laying took place while I was away from home for a few days, and both hens laid the eggs in the same nest. The younger hen (only about 7 months old) laid first, (very small eggs) which were quite distinguishable from the older hen's ones which arrived 3 or 4 days later. The younger hen seemed to win the battles over who would sit on all 4 eggs in the nest, with Stalin taking a major share of sitting time, but the older hen never lost interest. Come hatching time, the young hen's eggs failed to hatch, and Stalin started courting her again when she left the nest. Then the older hen took over the nest, and a few days later hatched 2 babies. That is the history until today.
Now....Stalin still seems to be more interested in chasing the young hen's skirt than in being a supportive dad, but he does perch very close to the nest (this may be just coincidence). Is he likely to assist in the rearing, or will he devote himself to his seemingly preferred younger wife? Will this go on indefinitely, do you think? It's all a bit mystifying to me, and I do hope that he helps the older hen raise the 2 babies. Any similar experiences out there??
 
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If he hasnt started feeding the babys after a couple days I doubt that he will and now you know which mate comes first for him so you might not let the older hen hatch out any more eggs on her own as raising babys alone for a single hen is very hard on her but it can be done ;) good luck thou hope it all works out :)
 
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