I'm trying to breed Sultans. I've struggled now for about 6 months with first issues of the small flock of adults I bought having worms and a heavy infestation of mites. Now they are back healthy again and I'm getting the occasional egg. The problem I've seen so far is the majority of eggs do not seem to be fertile. I haven't been cracking and checking before now, but I will. I attributed it to the one hen who seems to lay most often is a half blind hen (she had a ingrown feather in her eye when I got her), she never leaves the coop willingly while the rooster rushes out in the mornings to be with the other hens. So I've been bringing Trooper, the half blind hen, out to be with the rest of the flock to see if that works.
I had one egg which started getting veins and on day 4 formed a blood ring. Bummer!
I now have another Sultan egg which is forming veins. Hopefully this works better than the last..but anyway, I did crack a egg the other day since I feed my cockatiels and budgies the dud eggs and found the sultan egg had a little star on the yolk which I believe is fertile? No blood in the egg and it was 5 days in the incubator when I pulled it as a clear. It definitely had no development which a 5 days old egg should have had.
I've looked around at the fatal genes and can not find any that I think the Sultans have other than limited blood lines to begin with. The only other thing "could" be my Mille Fleur Roo, but again if he can manage to top a hen and the Sultan Roo doesn't knock him off, there should still be no fatal genes that cause a egg to fail to develop or die early. Am I missing something?
I've put my flock on game bird growth and plumage with gamebird/show bird vitamin pellets added several times a week. Since the one blind hen was always in the coop at the food and was laying while the others foraged badly, I figured this made the most sense to encourage egg laying. They also get dried meal worms, scrambled eggs and oatmeal mash and whatever else they can find. They have free access to oyster shell and the egg shells are nice and solid.
Are there some fatal genes I'm missing?