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1st born??

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:42 am
by Ring0Neck
You look in the box & to your delight you notice 5 young chicks actively looking for food.

On your second glance you notice the really small one few days old... and you turn to the biggest... 1st born standing tall

So what did you just witness?

The obvious answer is:5 young chicks one smaller then the other as they all hatched at different times, sure, but is that all?
Is there an "Alpha bird" 1st born? the largest strongest and more often then not: a male? did you see the alpha?

** I have noticed this trend over a period of time but today it made me think more about this idea of the alpha male.
I have 2 CHFs born on the same day !
1 is almost twice as big as the other at 14 days old!
will the bigger bird be still bigger then the smaller sibling when grown up?
IMO: if they were 5 they would even out except for the 1st born, he will be slightly larger bird.

** Can the alpha bird hatch second? yes, although it was the first egg laid it could hatch within a short period after one or two siblings.

The parents of the 2 chicks are turqblue chf X violet green/chf/blue

I bet that the larger sibling will be a green series chf and a male
the second one a blue or turq. series chf hen
(both are chf, they have red eyes)

So, what do you think? Is there something to the 1st born story? or just makes a good bedtime story?
A realist will reply: The green (if it will be green) is bigger becuase it is closer to wildtype, which is also true in many cases.

Re: 1st born??

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:31 am
by Mad Max
Interesting thought , I never looked at it that way , But I will and will let you know what I find

Re: 1st born??

Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:15 pm
by ringneck
Love this topic! I'll reply when i come back for the store! :)

Best Wishes,


Re: 1st born??

Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:28 pm
by Ring0Neck

So i thought the larger bird is going to be a green series but it turns out to be blue series CHF, which further strenghtens the case of the alpha male hypothesis.
Of course the link i make here is completely hypothetical and no proof exists, however sometimes when one is looking for something, something else pops up and at times more important conclusions can be drawn.
see pic of the diff. size between the 2 birds born in the same day.

** I am also marking some of the eggs as soon as laid, so i know which egg is which (numbered)
i am looking to record stats such as clear eggs, which eggs are more likely to be clear first ones or last ones laid, curious if there is a pattern.
stats lead to more accurate conclusions.

Re: 1st born??

Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:34 am
by sheyd
That's a good idea (marking the eggs)- I might start doing that too. As to the biggest chick being the alpha male- is it a trend in your flock, or have others noted the same thing too?

It is interesting the chick is big, but what if there were other siblings in the nest as well?- would even out the sizes I reckon. Take my clutch- all born on the same day- I have 3, one is the biggest then there's the smallest (like yours) and one that's in-between the two- will be interesting to see if my biggest ends up being a male.. (I hope at least one is a male!)

And then in nature, we have the biggest chicks out competing the smallest chicks for food- so in turn they grow faster- may be a case of who's ever hatched first, gets the most food!

Re: 1st born??

Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:48 am
by Ring0Neck
Hi SHey,
may be a case of who's ever hatched first, gets the most food!

let's keep in perspective that both were born same day & they do not eat food for the first day.
we see different sizes in the nest all the time, however when there's 5 chicks born at diff. dates we have less data to work with whereas 2 siblings born same day (i candled the eggs about 16h before hatch and both had cracked slightly the shell, from which i conclude that they hatched within a very short period of time 1-2hours apart)
makes a pretty good case for study....

What is an alpha male? Exactly all that + other factors like: stronger genetical makeup etc makes it an alpha male.
He gets the most food, gets best girls... It ensures the specie's survival - these birds are probably best kept for breeding as they could: be accepted by the partners without fuss, strenghtens the bloodline of future flock, survives/adapts etc etc

It is a fact that breeders recognise there's benefits as most of us do keep the bigger birds back.
i just simply add Why? to everything.

Re: 1st born??

Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:37 am
by Johan S
So I did an experiment of my own the last week. I took the smallest pied chick (last born, two days after siblings with significant size difference) and placed it underneath an inexperienced opaline hen who's eggs should start hatching tomorrow or Monday to test her maternal instinct (she is fantastic, by the way). So I returned the chick today after 4 or 5 days (I lost track). The result: the youngest chick has caught up in size with the three siblings and I can't distinguish between them anymore. Conclusion? Whoever eats the best, grows the quickest. I think opportunity, circumstance and environment plays the significant role. I do not believe that the genetically superior chick will be born first every time. Genetically, it's all chance, right?

Re: 1st born??

Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:22 am
by Ring0Neck
I think opportunity, circumstance and environment plays the significant role. I do not believe that the genetically superior chick will be born first every time. Genetically, it's all chance, right?

Indeed in a logical sense such statements covers it well and i agree with it, and case closed.
Brainstorming & playing is rather fun when these rules are ignored, curiousity, dreaming.

Johan , et al ..what is your opinion on clear eggs? say 5 eggs 3 clear, now we know the obvious reasons why this might happen, but what i want to know is which eggs are the clear ones?
i believe we'll find a pattern, if consistent results prove; say last 3 eggs are most times clear.
Then we can narrow down the possible factors why the last 3 eggs were clear.

As i said I will number some of the eggs to keep a record, who knows what else it will reveal.
If anyone else wants to do it, it'd be great.

Re: 1st born??

Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:52 am
by Johan S
Ben, unfortunately not a lot to work with. There are two sets of birds with semi-fertile clutches at my dad. First pair had only the first of three fertile, the second pair has last three of four fertile. Both pairs with a 2011 bird with no previous experience. So no clear pattern.

Re: 1st born??

Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:40 pm
by Ring0Neck
Thanks Johan,

I have the violet green /bcup to a new 3 y o male.
previous male filled every egg for a number of years. since the new male
1st clutch
5eggs 2 fertile

2nd clutch
5 eggs 2 fertile

both clutches were fostered.

3rd clutch
1st egg infertile
2nd egg tbc
rest of eggs tbc

Male is performing his husbandry duties well
So the obvious question WHY? is there for me to figure out

Re: 1st born??

Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:05 am
by Chienderace
A factor in the fertility could be how soon after mating is the first egg laid. If the hen already has an egg in the oviduct when mated for the first time, most of the sperm will be expelled with the egg. When the hen is approaching breeding condition, the eggs are formed, and as the yolk grows and ripens, they fall into the infindibulum ready to add the albumen and shell. If the mating takes place at the correct time, all yolks will fertilised for the clutch. To clarify, the yolk carries the germinal disc which will become the embryo.

Re: 1st born??

Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:25 am
by Ring0Neck

Thank you for the finley descriptive post.

Let me see if i can apply it to 1 of my pairs i'm thinking of.

"Missing the train"

Male did not have the courage to approach hen, nowhere near her, (this is the part where male did not fertilise the yolks/eggs as they were formed)
i then moved them to a smaller cage ( in width) so when they both perch are close to each other. It worked!
Within 2-3 days seen them mating once. after 1 day or so after she laid first egg (egg cracked open by brid's nails either one could have stepped on it , i replaced it with a marked clear egg and removed the cracked egg)

She went on and laid 3 other eggs. eggs were fostered as i did not trust the young hen with them after egg 1 incident.
although, during laying she never broke another egg
egg2: clear
egg3: fertile
egg4: fertile
Now i'll assume the first egg was fertile for this scenario.

Would i be right in assuming that egg 1:most/all the sperm will be expelled with the egg
egg2: no successful mating happen while this egg was passed through.
egg3&4: mating at the right time for each egg to be fertile.

How is that?

Re: 1st born??

Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:50 am
by Chienderace
That would sound quite feasible Ben, and is the scenario that I tried to portray.

Re: 1st born??

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:22 am
by Ring0Neck
Here's another test i've just done...and conclusion drawn.
Opinions welcome. Keep in mind this was done with 2 pairs only.

I've had 2 pairs started laying eggs at the same time, caged next to each other so it was easy to monitor (1 camera).
Observations from monitoring:
Both pairs were mating before laying.
Pair1: Once egg laying started hen stopped mating and 4 eggs were laid.
Pair2: Once egg laying started No mating only between egg 3 & 4, laid a total of 5 eggs.

Pair 1: 3 fertile eggs 1 clear.
Pair 2: 5/5 fertile eggs

** I should have numbered the eggs as that would have further strenghten the idea if the 4th was indeed clear.

Assumption based on test: When mating at "the right time" a set of 3 eggs will be fertilized.
if hen is to lay more then 3 eggs further mating is required for the reminder of eggs to be fertile.

Perhaps i'm wrong in above assumption so if anyone knows otherwise or has anything to add, please feel free and share.

Re: 1st born??

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:00 pm
by sheyd
I can only contribute with one pair and my observations of them.

Pair were observed mating before eggs were laid, while eggs were being laid- mating still occurred, eggs were finished being laid and matings still occurred- chicks hatched and matings still occurred.

The last mating was witnessed was about 3 weeks ago.

Hen laid in total 4 eggs- 3 of which were fertile, and one clear.

Re: 1st born??

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:17 pm
by Skyes_crew
Horny little devils weren't they :lol:

Do you think she'll go down again this season or is it too late there?

Re: 1st born??

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:00 am
by sheyd
:lol: aren't they just!?

no, not to late..
I don't wish to repeat this mating- so once the chick fledges I'll remove the box if it looks like they'll go again.