Another year full of cockerels....

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by silkiekeeper, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. closipov

    closipov Chirping

    May 1, 2016
    Western Pennsylvania
    I had 7 eggs, only 2 hatched and both roos. A friend gave me 4 silkies, 3 ended up bring hens the other a roo. I live my roos. What will happen if I keep them all?
    Susan Dye, ValerieJ, MROO and 2 others like this.
  2. Trimurtisan

    Trimurtisan Quackadelic

    May 22, 2019
    A cypress swamp in FL
    You're going to end up with a lot more chickens! :D
    Chris-n-Kate, Erba, EggWalrus and 5 others like this.
  3. hunthaven

    hunthaven Songster

    Dec 13, 2018
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I bought a dozen eggs; 7 hatched, all were roos. In desperation, I sent pics of the 3 month old roos to the lady who sold me the eggs and asked if by chance ANY of them were pullets. She felt bad (and she is generous), so she sent me free eggs--33 of them. 17 hatched, and I'm happy to say the ratio was about 40/60, mostly pullets. I kept three of them and gave the other 14 away. :). I'm happy, but it took some trying!
  4. ronkonkoma

    ronkonkoma Songster

    May 4, 2014
    Long Island NY
    I had 14/19 hatch out boys . I live in an area where roosters are allowed but all around me they are not. Lots of people want my fertilized eggs and chicks but I’m refraining because I know lots will be boys and then people scramble to rehome in the NY suburbs. . I also read then hens determine the sex? I don’t know if I understand correctly, but If that hens chicks are mostly male you should try another hen and see what happens.
  5. Trimurtisan

    Trimurtisan Quackadelic

    May 22, 2019
    A cypress swamp in FL
    That's pretty awesome! What a nice thing to do. Kudos to you for giving the rest away too.
  6. Clifton sanders

    Clifton sanders In the Brooder

    Dec 31, 2017
    I’ve had more pullets when using a broody hen. The temperature of your incubator MAY cause an increase in cockerels or pullets too but there isn’t really any study that proves this. Google “tricks to get more pullets” and see what you find.
    Erba, chrissynemetz, NanaKat and 4 others like this.
  7. quackcluck

    quackcluck In the Brooder

    Sep 29, 2016
    Hi, I didn’t read every reply so not sure if someone already suggested this..
    I had this same problem last year with several different breeds at different times of year, different hens. 70-80% cockerels in every batch! I was also venting this frustration to a lady who bred RIR as I was buying pullets from her, not willing to hatch them just to get maybe 1or 2 hens. She also bred goats. She told me after years of goat breeding and getting mostly bucks (one year was 17 buck kids to 2 girls!) she found out that apple cider vinegar was affecting the sperm, killing off the sperm with female genes. She was giving them ACV as a health benefit like most of us do for our chooks. The next breeding season, no ACV given, and she had a 50/50 boys and girls again. I haven’t yet tried it myself, but I’m definitely going to try it for my spring hatchlings.
  8. Clifton sanders

    Clifton sanders In the Brooder

    Dec 31, 2017
    Yes. I did a google search. It’s suggested that cockerel eggs don’t go well if they get too cold but pullet eggs do.
  9. I got pullets from TS that turned out to be roosters!!!! not even the breed they were supposed to be???
  10. NebraskaHick

    NebraskaHick In the Brooder

    Jun 21, 2016
    Central Nebraska
    Actually, that IS the answer! Sex is determined at fertilization. And they have a higher mortality rate of roosters in the egg with lower temps. The hen controls the temps by how much time she spends on the nest.
    I learned this from an article on "Fresh Eggs Daily"
    Apparently it's all about temperature. I've read that if you raise your incubator temperature just half a degree you're more likely to hatch out males; lower the temperature just half a degree and you will likely hatch out more females.

    Interestingly, if you hatch under a broody hen, it's thought you're more likely to hatch out more hens. I guess Mother Nature realizes that a flock needs more hens than roosters?

    But the temperature at which you store your hatching eggs seems to play a role as well. Try storing the eggs you'll be hatching for several days at 40 degrees Fahrenheit to hatch out more females, instead of the higher, commonly recommended storing temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. A study done in Australia actually bore out that conclusion.

    Now, keep in mind that what you're doing is not changing the sex of the chick inside the egg - that's been predetermined - but for whatever reason, male embryos seem to be more sensitive to low temperatures and those eggs just won't hatch.

    So you'll likely have a lower overall hatch rate, but what you do hatch should be a higher percentage of females.
    Full article:

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