chickens not breeding

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by luckydux, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. luckydux

    luckydux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have some breeding pens set up and I can't remember seeing any of them doing any breeding while their in them. When I let them out its the first thing the roo wants to do. Are there some hard and fast rules for this or what am I missing?

    Each coop is 4'x5' and has an attached run that is 5'x16'. The most any pen has in it is 8 birds.
    I also built a couple hoop coops that are 8'x8' and they too will immediately get busy when their let out.
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Have you checked for fertility?

    I feel I'm missing something--you have breeding pens set up but often let the birds out together? What is the point of the breeding pen then?
     
  3. luckydux

    luckydux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Only 1 breed is out at a time and electric netting keeps the hoop coop breeds separated. I haven't checked for fertility yet because their still pullets and I'm not getting many eggs yet either. The birds are 6-8 months old but just not laying well. So far only the delawares are dependable layers.

    Breeding is new to me so any input may just be what I'm missing. I've only always had one flock and one coop so the birds weren't being locked up or moved around or messed with which I admit may just be the problem
     
  4. luckydux

    luckydux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe im posting in the wrong place??
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I’m not sure what your question or concern is? A rooster needs to mate with a hen once every two weeks or so for fertility. Just because they don’t mate on demand when you are looking at them doesn’t mean the eggs are not fertile. Donrae gave you the answer to that question. Check for fertility.

    I really don’t know where you are coming from, but maybe this will help.

    It takes an egg about 25 hours to make its way through the hen’s internal egg factory. It can only be fertilized in the first few minutes of that journey. That means if the mating takes place on a Monday, Monday’s egg is not fertile. Tuesday’s egg might be. It depends on when the mating takes place and when the egg started its journey. Wednesday’s egg is almost certainly fertile.

    Right after a mating takes place, the hen stands up, fluffs up her feathers, and shakes. I’m not sure what the feather fluffing does, but the shake gets the sperm into a container in the right place in the hen to fertilize the eggs when they start that journey. That sperm may possibly be viable for three weeks or so, but it’s a pretty good idea to only count on two weeks after a mating.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  6. luckydux

    luckydux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks and sorry I guess I wasn't clear. I'm wondering why my chickens won't breed while confined to their pens yet when their let out its game on...which is why checking for fertility doesn't answer my question.

    How I came to really start questioning this is that while I had them locked down for 5-6 days through some of this wet weather we've had, the girls stayed nice and clean when I know they shouldn't have, had they been mated. The only exception is a small flock of delawares with a wyandotte roo that stay in a hoop coop away from all the rest. Makes me wonder if privacy is a factor...maybe I need to put solid dividers up between the pens???

    When several months go by and not once have I witnessed them breeding while confined, somethings amiss.


    Thanks again
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'm not sure what you mean about nice and clean? There's no external evidence of a chicken mating. You can't tell by looking at them. I'll bet they're mating and you're just not seeing it. The way to see is to confine a group and check for fertility. That or sit and watch them all day, and who has time for that?
     
  8. luckydux

    luckydux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When its muddy you can absolutely see the evidence, especially on white and lavender hens.

    Obviously I could lock them up and.check for fertility but id like to avoid any unnecessary changes currently. Im sure that sounds a bit silly but I think my reasoning is rational. I dont plan on hatching until ive picked my breeders which I wont have full knowledge of until probably another year at least. Im after more than just looks and egg counts..more about resistance and adaptability. Any who, Id rather not have to make more work for myself than necessary until I have to.

    I was kind of expecting to hear that my pens may be too small. If going with 4sqft coop/10sqft run per bird, is that kosher for breeding purposes??

    I apologize for my poor online communication skills..its hard for me to type my intentions
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Have you checked the spot on the egg yolks to see if he's getting the job done?
    I think that's what they mean by 'checking for fertility'.

    You may already know this so forgive me if I'm preaching to the choir, but here's a thread that shows great pics of what a fertile and non fertile yolks looks like.

    Good Luck!
     
  10. luckydux

    luckydux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not questioning their fertility but thanks for the link
     

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