Fertility Help!!!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kuchchicks, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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!!!!
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I'm stabbing in the dark here, but might it help to just remove the older roo to his own quarters for a while or would it be possible to seperate the older roo with half the hens and the younger with half? That way you could check eggs seperatly and get an idea of who's doing the job better? I know it's easier said than done when talking about housing/adding housing.
     
  3. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That would def be the easiest route but I have no place to put him right now. I could prob remove him for part of the day but not for any great length of time...
     
  4. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Even that may help. It would give Jr a chance to get a little chicken love. [​IMG]
     
  5. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you think I should remove them both first and then reintroduce only Jr after a short abcence? I can probably do this about 5 days a week when my husband is home. Both roosters are temperamental when I go in after them and will need his help.
     
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    This isn't my area of expertise, (not that I have one apparently....lol [​IMG]) but I'd try it just removing the older roo. In my mind I am seeing if the older roo isn't there to intimidate the younger, he'll get busy and take advantage of having the girls to himself. I could be way off, but, I think I would try that first, and see if it improves fertility, if not then take them both out and reintroduce the one, but I'm not sure what the philosophy is behind removing them and reintroducing them.
     
  7. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You have plenty of expertise! Please!!!! You are often my go to girl!!! LOL! Anyway... that is exactly what I was thinking. Watching them interact, it seems to me that the reason Jr is not getting busy is because every time he has tried, Big Daddy runs him off. Now that is not to say that he gets no action... I've see him a time or two. But my older roo really is in charge. I think the younger one could take him but doesn't have the confidence.

    From what I have read, the reason you remove them and then reintroduce them is that when they can't see their females they go nuts. Then when they are let back in with the flock they go and mate a few to show them he is still in charge. I locked him in the barn about 2 hours ago. I am going to give it until dinner time and then go let him back out. I don't have any place safe to keep him over night and really don't want to lock him in a box. He's a good boy... just getting up there in age.

    Thinking I will try and do this every day for a couple of weeks and see what happens. I just bought a second incubator (yes, I'm on the verge of getting out of hand... okay who am I kidding, I'm there! LOL) So now I can hatch and not have to worry about split hatches. I can run one every 10 days. Which is good for me for checking fertility. I will probably just put a couple of days worth of eggs in at a time and see where the go.

    Thanks for your input! If anyone else has any tips let me know!
     
  8. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    My original coop with my 10 in it had 8 girls and 2 boys. My big boy and my turken who was a pretty big boy himself. I always thought that my turken was the dom roo. Well, he was for a while, but at some point the tides changed. They were exactly the same age, hatched the same batch. When I did my pullet eggs from that coop I expected a whole bunch of turkens since I had a turken hen and a turken roo and from what I understand nn gene is dominant. 20 eggs... 4 from my turken/ee hen the other 16 from the rest. I ended up with 5 nns out of 20. 4 from my nn hen and one from my silkie hen, and none of the nns from my hen had bare necks, everyone had the big old bow tie like their mom. I expect a couple with bare knecks as I understand that two nn genes would produce clean necks. That's when I realized my turken roo wasn't as dom as I thought. Soon after my other roo started beating the crap out of the turken roo, (who was on his way out anyway because he was people aggressive) and if my turken even thought about getting some he'd chase him off. I got rid of the turken roo. Now my big boy has 8 girls to himself...lol He's happy
     
  9. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :flWell Jr had all of the girls to himself today. I'll try this for a while and see what happens.
     
  10. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :fl
     

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