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Meluchja

Male Female Ratio

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Hi, a breeder told me, if we are going to have 3 or 4 birds in a small aviary better to have 1 female and 2/3 males. As we are hoping to have a go at breeding, she said it would give us the best chance at avoiding problems as its the hens that post most danger in colony breeding. I'm open to the idea at purchasing a seperate breeding box later on but would prefer to keep it in the aviary if possible.

 

Interested to hear your opinions weather you agree with the 1 female 2/3 males would be best to go in this situation.

 

Also, is it o.k to have 1 hen that is 4 months old in with a male that is a year older and another male the same age? Don't plan on introducing a breeding box for at leave 12 months though.

 

Hope to hear from you all soon.

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Hi,

Colony breeding can often be difficult. I currently have 4 or 5 extra males in my aviary with 13 females but I am hoping to cut down on my birds and have 10 males and 10 females.

 

The breeder is right about saying females can be the aggressors but I have had incidents that involved males being aggressive towards each other. You could add extra males if you wanted more birds but I would suggest trying to stay too even numbers. But you can have odd numbers if you don't have breeding boxes in the cage.

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Hi, I didn't realize you had the same question going in two different threads. I will copy and paste my answer from your other one to here, since this is where it seems to fit better:

 

 

 

Your local breeders ought to be a good source of advice' date=' as well. They can probably advise you about ratios of genders. I've never owned an outdoor aviary, just large indoor cages. In my cages, I would not combine three males and one female. Perhaps it's different in a larger environment.[/font']

 

But with only one female, all of the males will probably be harassing her to mate. And they will fight each other over her. I always think it is better to have equal numbers of males and females if the group is small, and if the group is large enough, then you can have extra males. If there are not enough males to go around, the hens will fight over them. But once each hen has chosen her mate, any leftover males will buddy up with each other, so you can get away with fewer hens.

 

That is just my feelings about it. I do have to admit that I now keep my males and females separate from each other, and that has completely cut out any fighting over mates. When I pair them up in breeding cages, they are so happy to see someone of the opposite gender, that they start courting immediately, and I often see mounting within the first five minutes!

 

But if you will be housing them all together, then I think it is best to keep numbers even.

 

One nice thing about having a young hen is that you have plenty of time to study up on every aspect of breeding. Then when she is old enough to breed, you will be well prepared for all the different circumstances that can occur. This forum is a great resource. Happy reading!

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Oh now I'm not sure again lol. It's not a huge aviary, 1.8 x 1.1 x .9 more of a large cage really.

 

Have copied and pasted this too incase you didn't see it on the other thread. With try and delete that thread now to avoid a mess.

 

I had concerns regarding the same thing. But the breeder I've been dealing with said males typically won't fight in that situation. Now I'm not so confident. Maybe I just stick to 2 one male one female. Or 2 female and 2 male and use a breeding box. I guess we can start off with the combination we have chosen and when it come to add the box we might reconsider the arrangement.

 

Do you think the males will fight even without the breeding box in there?

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Yes, all that I wrote about getting along is without breeding boxes. When you add boxes, you open a whole other can of worms. A lot of people colony breed, but it takes some special precautions. There are some pinned threads about it in the breeding area of the forum.

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I have got 2 males and one female in my smallish aviary.. 2m x 2m x 1.9. All was well and i introduced breeding boxes... the males were alright and one was really interested in her and the other one not as much but still quite interested, she laid four fertile eggs and while she was incubating the males were constantly feeding her (both of them) and trying to get her attention. After a few days of incubation she suddenly didnt want anything to do with the eggs so she left them. I dont really know if its related to the ratio of males to female but just this week she has laid three eggs and incubated for a few days and come off again. It could be a lot of possibilities but thats just my experience with 2 males and 1 female. I am going to give the female a few months rest now and try a breeding cage with just a pair in it, inside my aviary. Hope it works!

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I used to colony breed years ago when I had a large aviary keeping between 20-30 birds. During that time I always kept equal or more males than females. In addition I always had extra breeding boxes, so if I had 5 females of breeding age, I would have 10 breeding boxes available. I rarely had any problems probably because of this arrangement. It seems most problems come when the females fight over nesting boxes, damaging each other or their eggs or killing babies. During my colony breeding days fortunately this did not happen.

 

Having recommenced breeding I have made the decision to cage breed as I don't have a large aviary and I wanted to control the pairing more. I have four breeding cages which can convert to double flight cages and two small aviaries. I initially started with one aviary but decided like Finnie to keep my males separate from females outside of breeding --- more or less. (I have a couple of older pairs that don't trouble anyone and no one troubles them).

 

Regarding your female she may simply not be mature enough or she may just be a bird that does not make a good mother - only time will tell with this. I doubt that your 2:1 male to female ratio has caused the problem but a smaller cage at a latter date may have less distractions and she will be a little bit older.

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