Fertile egg questions?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by flockandgarden, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. flockandgarden

    flockandgarden Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2011
    Connecticut
    I just started running breeding pens for specific breeds of chickens. Everyone is young they have just begun laying in the last month or two. I am running 2 roosters for 6/7 hens. I am having poor fertility could this be they are still young? Could running 2 roosters in the same pens (they have not fought really) be a problem. Should I remove the roosters and reintroduce them to the girls after a week or two? Any idea's would help. I was even considering lumping all the girls in one barn and leaving the individual roosters in their breeding pens for the winter and reintroduce in the spring. Like I said any ideas would help.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    First, breeding is selectively choosing who mates with who, with the specific goal of improving the breed, to make one's birds better reflect the Standard written, described and pictured for the breed.

    The rest is mere propagation or haphazardly milling.

    I suspect you are serious about making really great chicks. Thus, one rooster for each 3 or 4 females, carefully chosen will accomplish your targeted goals better. You can, if you have two roosters that are very good, swap them out every 4-6 weeks. You can compare the results in about six months as to which matings produced the better birds. We use vet wrap or zip ties to identify the chicks and we keep good records of our matings.

    It takes a while, with younger birds, for the matings to be successful. Often young cockerels are clumsy and haven't gotten their skills together. Young pullets, while still producing small pullet eggs, aren't ready to make eggs of the quality needed for hatching better chicks. Wait a month or two or three after a pullet comes into lay before hatching their eggs.

    We only leave the breeding pens together for 3 months. That's long enough. Too much wear and tear on the hens isn't a positive thing. We "rest" our hens and allow them to recover from the mating pens. We typically only mate during late winter through spring. The heat of summer isn't ideal for mating.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. SA Farm

    SA Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    Mod answered better [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  4. flockandgarden

    flockandgarden Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2011
    Connecticut
    Yes I want to improve the breeds and/or meet the breed standards. Have culled the non-conforming ones. I have been keeping records but I love the vet wrap idea. It just does not seem that the roosters have their act's together quite yet. Ok. Then removing all my breeding hens and separating them from the roosters NOW while it is hot hot through mid/late winter is the way to go then. Got it! Thanks very much.
     

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