“Following the BESG report Red Junglefowl Roundup Part I of 27th June 2013 LINK, the black hen Putri Hitam which is most like to be a mix breed RJF, has produced a brood of 2 chicks, as shown in the attached pic taken on 4th July (above). One of the chicks has black feathers exactly like the mother, while the other one shows brown down feather on the head. The later did not survive for long though. With prolific production cycle, Putri Hitam left the black chick to brood again when it was only about 4 weeks old.
“The attached pic, taken just this morning (above), shows the chick at the age of about 8 weeks. It is unusually big when compared to other RJF chicks at the same age, probably because it enjoyed special treatment from the tenant who reared both Putri Hitam and Lao San as chicks but released them together before they reached sexual maturity.
“Towards the end of August, Putri Hitam reappeared with a brood of 8 chicks. It is impossible to know who is/are the father/s as there are 3 adult males around.
“The above video taken on 1st September shows it with 4 different coloured chicks. Out of the new brood, 3 had been taken away by the tenant and 1 did not survive. The sight of a black hen and a normal looking offspring appears rather incongruent. It was interesting to learn from the tenant that the mother did not complain when he took the chicks away.
“The above edited video shows Putri Hitam feeding on Weaver Ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) on the perimeter fence during one of its brooding breaks on 1st August. The ants are not visible in the video when the hen is picking them up. However, they are frequently seen on the fence and are known to nest in plants such as young Sea Apple (Syzygium grande) and Waringin (Ficus benjamina) which sprouts too near to the fence and hence often missed by the grass cutters. A close-up video clip of the ants scurrying along the fence recorded on 2nd September was weaved in to make the edited video more interesting.æ
Sun Chong Hong
3rd September 2013
Bird Ecology Study Group Red Junglefowl Roundup Part V. 5-toed Red Junglefowls
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