Breeding issues

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by silkiefluff, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. silkiefluff

    silkiefluff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wasn't sure what category to put this under. I'm having an issue with my eggs. I have a pair of Silkies that I want to breed (they are rom show quality lines, not tested though). The hen is laying and had been previously fertilized by a different chicken (over 5 weeks ago). We incubated a couple eggs and when the chicks hatched we discovered she was "with" the wrong male. So, she is now in a breeding pen with her male. About ten days ago we took all her saved eggs and threw them in the incubator. We had checked them and they appeared to have a blastoderm ("target").

    Now, in the incubator, they have been candled and look like nothing is there. This isn't my first time candling, but I can clearly see now veins or dark spots.

    So, we candled another of her eggs yesterday and there was no blastoderm at all.

    Questions... Could his sperm not be reaching her? (I've heard of people clipping feathers to make sure everything gets to where it needs to). Would there be another reason why she's not being fertilized? The Roo is very confident and "manly". Loves to crow. When he was in with the LF, he loved trying to mate with them.
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    The only way to see the "bullseye" or blastoderm is by cracking the egg open and looking at the yolk. In all the articles I have read, and research I have done, there is no way to check this through candling.

    MYTH: Candling an egg will reveal whether the egg is fertile or not. (Candling is the term used for shining a light through an eggshell to see what’s happening inside.)


    FACT: Only eggs that are incubated and begin developing can be identified as fertile after a minimum of 3 days. The blastoderm and blastodisc cannot be seen through the shell. It is possible for an incubated egg to be fertile and appear infertile when candled if the egg failed to develop. The only way to determine whether an unincubated egg is fertile is to crack it open and identify the blastodisc or blastoderm.

    Source taken from:http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/01/facts-and-myths-about-fertile-eggs.html
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Either your male is infertile, or he's not making contact. You could try trimming the vent feathers and try again in a few days. I'm not sure if you'd need to trim both male and female, or just the female. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, you could read up on artificial insemination, and try that. I've never had to trim vent feathers, and have not tried artificial insemination, but those would be your two options. By 10 days you should be seeing lots of development.
     
  4. silkiefluff

    silkiefluff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am well aware of how to candle and how to check for fertility. ;) I open a couple eggs of the ones I am going to put in the incubator. If that is fertile, all the ones from that hen are as well.

    Thanks lazy gardener, I think I'll try trimming. I have thought of doing AI, but I think I'll try the trimming first. Haha!
     
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    When you trim, cut below the vent for the rooster and above for the hen (if you didn't already know that). Also, what protein percentage is your feed? Are you some place cold? It could also be an issue of condition, is why I ask. My Silkies don't seem to be in the mood as much when the weather isn't great.
     
  6. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try trimming.

    I was told by a well respected breeder of LF. that roosters can go through infertile times (in cycles) much like hens do. We had this happen with a rooster who went on to father over 100 chicks last summer. Some are not always ready at all times. Another thing to consider is the hen may be rejecting the male's sperm if she doesn't like him. Good luck!
     
  7. silkiefluff

    silkiefluff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We trimmed yesterday, so here's hoping!

    I am in Canada and it's very cold right now. -15 or so, today. Their food is 17-18 percent protein, but we are looking for (hard to find around here) a breeder ration with 20 protein.
     
  8. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    A higher protein ration is a good idea. I feed my Silkies 20% protein feed in the winter when bugs and greens are scarce. Then I step them back to a 16% crumble when it warms up. You can supplement with meat scraps if you can't find a higher protein feed.
     
  9. silkiefluff

    silkiefluff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What about game bird feed? That's 20 percent protein. Would it have everything else they need?
     
  10. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Yep, gamebird feed will be just fine. I used to feed it to my Silkies, but I switch to starter/grower because its cheaper.
     

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