So I need some trouble shooting help ASAP! I agreed to help out my kids school doing a hatching project starting on March 15. I am running a test run right now for fertility and the results were not good. I have 2 coops. One is for my silkies and Polish - there are 2 roos to about 7 girls. My other coop is for my egg layers. I also have 2 roos but there are closer to 12 girls. The silkie/Polish coop is at 100% fertility. I think all of the eggs are being fertilized by my silkie roo based on what the babies look like. In the layer coop I only have about 30% fertility! All of the hens are about 10 months old (except one girl who is 3 and her eggs are always fertile). The roos are a 3 years old BLRW (he rules the roost) and a year old Maran. I have seen the Maran get with the girls on occasion but he is definitely intimidated by my older roo. I do not see any mights or worms. All of the girls are healthy and lay very well. Last fall I found my fertility was only 20% but thought that it may be due to the time of year, light change, and cooler temps. But we now have a light on the coop for a few extra hours of light and egg production is at an all time high. Our chickens for the most part are pets that provide eggs. I do hatch my own eggs on occasion - usually the silkies and polish though so I really was not super concerned about the low fertility in the other coop. Until now. I don't really want to buy fertile eggs since I am helping out the school and not getting any compensation for it. I know I could sell the chicks that hatch to regain my cost but really would just rather get my fertility up. I don't get enough polish silkie eggs right now to do the entire hatch with those so I really need my layers to be fertile. If I cannot get the fertility up in the next few weeks then I will go ahead and buy eggs. Can anyone offer suggestions? I have a feeling the reason that the fertility is low is because my Boss rooster is older and HE is not as fertile. I have heard that separating the roos from the hens for a bit (not sure how long) and then reintroducing them to the hens would cause them to mate to show they are still in charge. Is this true? If it is, how long do I remove the roos from the hens? Should I just lock them in the coop while the hens are in the yard so the roos cant see the hens? How long do I separate them? Should I just allow the Maran out first so he will get with the girls and hope his YOUTH and therefore higher fertility do the trick and then after a bit let the other roo back in the mix? Getting rid of the older roo is not an option. He is a loved member of our family and we are not willing to give him up. Any help would be greatly appreciated. If there is something else that I can do do that would be great. I am not good at looking at the yolks to tell if they are fertile. I would be happy to open some up and attach pics of the bullseye. PLEASE HELP!!!!