Determing Roo fertility

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by EggieRowe, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. EggieRowe

    EggieRowe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do roosters lose fertility over the winter? Kind of like how hens slow or stop egg production? I have a super sweet roo who might be 3 y.o. and I just candles some eggs at 7 days. They're all clear. I really wanted chicks from him. Should I give him a couple more weeks? Or is it soon enough to say he's infertile? The hens have only been back to laying for two weeks as well. I have not seen him dance or mount anyone so far this year, but I have in the past. He has a bumblefoot last summer that took time a while to heal, but I check him out last month and it hasn't returned. I'm going to be heartbroken if this is the end of his baby-making days, but he'll become a pet. And I do have a backup roo that's coming up on a year (that's kind of ********) so all is not lost.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes. Roosters and hens both need to be photostimulated.
    It may just be that he isn't mounting.
    There are other things that can be a problem like vent feathers.
    Have you looked for fertility on the yolk of opened eggs?
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    My 4 year old rooster was keeping my almost 20 hen flock fertile, so I don't think it's age. I think it's time of year. Give it a month or so, longer days only bring good things in the chicken world!

    What are you feeding him? I've seen studies here citing the increased calcium in layer feed can cause a decrease in fertility of roosters.
     
  4. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    During the middle of last summer, our main 2YO RIR rooster suddenly started getting nearly all infertile eggs, except from his favorite- a prolific laying hen. But, even she started to have only the occasional chick. After 50 chicks in spring, you can imagine our panic.

    Bev Davis (the well known Marans breeder) later explained to me that roosters go through fertility cycles, like hens do. They are not fertile at all times. Additionally, the issue was usually the hen not accepting a rooster's sperm.

    In our case, after watching the flock closely, we tried trimming their vent areas as they are both big chunky birds. Still no change. Then, we found the very large, dominant hen kept knocking the rooster across the pen during mating! Eventually, we did get 4 chicks out of them, but, by winter he had fathered over 100 chicks from the other hens.
     

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