Fertility problem

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by iajewel, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. iajewel

    iajewel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2008
    Corning IA
    I bought some eggs from a gal last year that had a low hatch rate. The birds were great, but the eggs were about 50% She lives close it was not in the shipping. The rest of the breeds did fine. It is in the flock of Blue Orphs. What can I do to up the fertility rate? I have culled out the old roosters and replaced them with younger birds. I assume this could have been the cause. Any other ideas? This is a really nice bunch of birds I would like to see them take off, but if you can't raise chicks.. [​IMG] what good are they?
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Some Blue Orpington males seem to begin to have issues with fertility after their 2nd year for some reason. My four year old Blue Orp Suede is having issues, though he mates the girls just fine. His sire lost fertility about three and a half years old, too, as I recall. Sometimes, you can trim butt fluff on both hens and roosters to ensure better contact, but you really shouldn't have to do that. I'm incubating eggs from the BBS Orp pen right now after tossing two different groups for lack of development. Suede may just be a roving blue lawn ornament now, poor sweet boy.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I'm with Speckledhen. If they have the grand orpington fluff, this may be impeding contact during mating. Try plucking or trimming around their vent areas in an attempt to expedite mating. Hopefully it is a physical problem rather than hereditary low fertility. Many years ago I had a friend who had an inbred line of white crested black Polish. He started with one pair of birds and line/inbred them for 30 years. I used to hatch eggs for him=a true challenge. Most of his roosters were sterile by 2 years of age.
     
  4. iajewel

    iajewel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2008
    Corning IA
    I think you answered my question as she got these birds 5yrs ago. I loved them there were great quality, so when she wanted to sell out due to their lack of fertility. I jumped on it. When she got them they were doing fine. 5yrs ago. The first thing I did was cull the old roosters. Since its Feb (almost) in Iowa I haven't put any eggs in the bator yet. I won't until late Feb. Im just now cutting everyone off into pens according to color.. blacks with spash and so on. If they loose fertility with age, and these were some old roosters. I think you may have nailed it with that. Shame the spash rooster was one I didn't cull. He has a solid good body and is about as perfect as you would want. I was soooo hoping to use him just a bit this year. Guess its the youngsters turn. The spash is 3, maybe even 4 this year, I know 3 for sure.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If the splash is what you really like, why not test mate him to 1 or 2 hens just in case he is fertile. Trim them up, check the early eggs, and if non fertile move the hens to another rooster. Time lost will be minimal. Within 3 days of moving to the next rooster, their eggs will be fertile.
     
  6. iajewel

    iajewel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2008
    Corning IA
    I have about 5 black hens that need a splash roo. I do have a young one, but he's young. Late fall hatch. I was told and have always gone by .... hens can stay fertil for up to 3 weeks after being bred. That means that the hens would have to "rest" before I put the new rooster in wouldn't it? They do have quite the skirts, so I will trim them as well. that could very well be part of the issue. I hadn't even thought of that. So this is something I will start doing. Thank you
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You trim the male below the vent and the female above the vent, if I remember the proper way to do it. I pluck some fluff on occasion, but it does mess up their look a tiny bit so I haven't done that in ages.
     
  8. iajewel

    iajewel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2008
    Corning IA
    I don't mind so much the look if I get chicks.
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    [​IMG] Let us know if it helps. I hate to think my Suede's fertility is gone with the wind.
     
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Yes hens can maintain fertility for 3+ weeks after exposure to a rooster; however, if he proves infertile that is a moot point. He's not fertile- introduce new rooster- any fertile eggs must be sired by the new rooster.
     

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