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#68049 - 08/17/08 05:41 PM Fertility Question
Cool2Chickens Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 377
Loc: Ohio
Hello everyone.

I have a couple problems with my breeding birds. I have a medium size flock of SC White Leghorn Bantams consisting of three different bloodlines.

My first problem is, my eggs are not fertile.

I recently bought a breeding trio of SC White Leghorns from a master breeder to help improve my line. I paid a good deal of money for the birds. I have a breeding pen of Five, proven fertile SC White Leghorn Hens, ages from 2-4 years. In this pen I put the Cockerel from the new trio. My intentions were not really to breed from this pen, I just wanted to have my fall breeders out on grass the rest of the summer. Well, I had surgery and hadn't been able to check on the birds for about 4 days. None of the eggs had been collected and I had about 18 eggs in the nest. On the eggs was two broody hens, these hens had been broody before this year and hatched a few chicks. So I decided to let the hens sit and see what came out of this new bloodline. Each hen had eight eggs, in clean nest boxes.

I candled the eggs today, and not one showed any signs of fertility, this was day six.

I had set two eggs in an incubator from the new trio earlier this year. Those eggs showed no sign of fertility either.

Could my new Rooster be infertile?

My next problem is, the new hens from that trio, refuse to lay!

I have tried everything to keep these hens laying, but they just wont. I get two eggs every month or so. All my other hens are laying great. I was assured these were young birds, fall of last year hatch. But I am thinking maybe old hens?

I don't know what to do? Should I try a different bloodline. I really need some new blood in my line.

I appreciate any help

Thank You,
Cool2Chickens
_________________________
Blue Run Bantams
Light Brown Dutch
SC White, Blue, Black Leghorns
http://bluerunbantams.webs.com/

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#68050 - 08/17/08 07:15 PM Re: Fertility Question
Blackdotte Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 913
Loc: Australia
I'd be talking to the breeder you bought them from.

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#68051 - 08/17/08 08:14 PM Re: Fertility Question
J. Meyer Offline
Chicken

Registered: 01/17/08
Posts: 122
Loc: South Dakota
First of all, how old is the cockerel? It's very possible that he may be just a bit young, and will become fertile in time. Also, is he actually mating with the hens? That too, could take a bit of time.

You also say that you had surgery (hope all is well), and that you hadn't collected the eggs for several days. Was it extremely hot during the day? If the place that the hens were laying their eggs became overheated, the fertility may have been killed.

These are some possibilities that you might consider. Also, if the cockerel is of really great show quality, you might want to just give him a few months to try to regain his fertility. Also, birds will usually have better fertility when the daylight hours are getting longer, not shorter like they are now. We have already lost an hour of daylight in the evenings. UGH! Winter can't be far off.

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#68052 - 08/17/08 09:03 PM Re: Fertility Question
Cool2Chickens Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 377
Loc: Ohio
The Cockerel is Fall hatch from what I was told. He does breed the hens, but he isn't as active with them as most of my breeders cocks usually are. He is quite a bit more layed back than my other leghorns.

It was actually very cool for the four days I wasn't able to collect. The building has fans and they had fresh water daily so I don't think the hens were two hot. It didn't get over 85 that whole week.

I plan on setting up lights for my breeders this fall, as I do want to try and hatch from him again. Maybe that could help some. I really want to hatch from this rooster, he is really nice.

Thank You,
Cool2Chickens
_________________________
Blue Run Bantams
Light Brown Dutch
SC White, Blue, Black Leghorns
http://bluerunbantams.webs.com/

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#68053 - 08/17/08 09:07 PM Re: Fertility Question
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Very often, new birds need quite a while to settle in, and your 4-5 year old hens are not happy to accept a new mate. They had their routines and do not like it interrupted by a new cock! "Just like banty roosters" is not a sure statement at all. And, if the new females were laying at the time they were moved, it can completely upset their laying pattern--not only the move, and new feed, new pen, but a new male with them.
"Master breeder birds" does not mean anything, if the birds do not meld well. It might have been better to have bred just the new birds together, without separating them for a season, and then selected from their offspring to move into your pens, when old enough--raised in your space, they would likely meld well.

I would never purchase new birds outside my own bloodlines and expect anything great, except by chance. With every new and/or unrelated bird, you start from scratch. It takes time, and in time, you will doubtless get some chicks from these new birds. Meantime, be patient, but if they were mine, I would put the original new trio back together and start from them. Good luck. CJR

Any Dutch in your future?

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#68054 - 08/17/08 09:22 PM Re: Fertility Question
Rogo16 Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 439
Loc: Arizona
I have plenty of roosters in my free roaming flock so don't bother with candling.

I've heard the eggs need to be incubated at least 7 to 10 days to see growth.
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Rogo

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#68055 - 08/18/08 07:43 AM Re: Fertility Question
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
In white or light shelled eggs, by the 4th/5th day, you can see a beautiful "red spider", the embryo and veins. It is very exciting to know for sure, that a chick is developing. CJR

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#68056 - 08/18/08 10:42 AM Re: Fertility Question
Cool2Chickens Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 377
Loc: Ohio
Thank You Everyone!!

I have no intentions of selling the new trio just yet. I have had them since early spring, so I am hoping they will start laying some this fall. I am going to put them on lights to help keep them laying. I'm also going to try putting them out on grass the rest of the summer and fall.

CJR - I do plan on putting the original trio back together. I didn't really intend to breed from the rooster on my hens, but since the hens were already sitting I decided to go ahead and let them finish. I had just put them together to let the new rooster get some sun since that pen is one of my only two outdoor pens and I didn't want the new hens to fight with mine.

I want to keep my line going like it is for now, but I really need to improve my males. That was the main reason for the new trio is to breed good males. I am going to try and build a male line, as I only have a female line now.

I do plan on raising some dutch this fall, mostly LB. I have a really nice cockerel and pullet that are going to some shows this fall. I'm really excited for this fall show season!

Again, Thank You Everyone! I appreciate it!

Cool2Chickens
_________________________
Blue Run Bantams
Light Brown Dutch
SC White, Blue, Black Leghorns
http://bluerunbantams.webs.com/

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#68057 - 08/18/08 11:28 AM Re: Fertility Question
Bushman Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 1047
Loc: Wisconsin
Is it possible you or the seller used an insecticide spray on these birds and accidentally got some into the vent of the new rooster? I'm told the chemical will cause temporary infertility, and for that reason I don't use the sprays. Just a possibility.
_________________________
Pilgrim in a foreign land and true believer.
1st John 5:11-12

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#68058 - 08/18/08 12:14 PM Re: Fertility Question
Cool2Chickens Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 377
Loc: Ohio
No, I use a livestock dust when I brought them home, and thats all I have been using. I will remember that for future reference. Thank You!


Cool2Chickens
_________________________
Blue Run Bantams
Light Brown Dutch
SC White, Blue, Black Leghorns
http://bluerunbantams.webs.com/

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