Fertility question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RWise, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. RWise

    RWise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 25, 2012
    Oakhurst Oklahoma
    I have a mixed flock, in the flock are 2 RIR hens, it is rare for their eggs to be fertile (2 chicks from 24 eggs, 22 clear). I am currently using their eggs for the table only because of this, and I do inspect a lot of them to see if there has been a change. 1 hen is coming onto a year old, the other is almost 3 yo. When I sat the last batch of eggs there were 2 Roos and I see chicks from both, one of them was culled. (I have a teenage roo to replace the cull) The eggs from the other hens all had decent hatch rates, which kinda tells me its not the roos. The birds all pasture/free range, they get whole grains, toasted egg shell and oyster shell. All look good, nice shinny feathers, bright red combs,,,,
    Do these girls just not like my roo/s?
    Is there something I can do to improve their fertility?
    Or should I just except that I will not be getting chicks from them and keep having breakfast?
     
  2. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 8, 2008
    Ohio
    It sounds like they are not being mated for some reason. Do they show any signs of being mated, like rougher feathers on their backs and a few feathers pulled out or ruffled on the backs of their heads? Maybe the roosters don't like them, maybe they don't like the roosters...Are they your only red hens in a flock of other colors? I have seen the only white hen in a flock of other colors not be mated.

    If you really want chicks from them, you could put the rooster in a pen with just them, and then check the egg fertility.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  3. RWise

    RWise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 25, 2012
    Oakhurst Oklahoma
    The signs of mating I have seen are either of the 2 roos on top of them, so yes the boys are/were doing their job. The young one does not like the larger roo for certain, however she did like the other one. I have only the 2 RIRs in the flock and mostly black birds, but other colors as well.

    The older Roo waits outside the coop and when a hen is finished laying her egg he runs and gives her another donation. He does this with all the hens that are laying. Number 2 roo was culled and replaced, hope the new boy can work through his teenage months. He has just started actively mating, and he likes the reds, now if he can learn to be a bit more gentle with them. He was supposed to be a pullet and has grown up in the flock and the big guy pretty much leaves him alone. (except when "hey that's my hen"). Yes I see the right coming,,,,,,

    Thanx
     
  4. RWise

    RWise Chillin' With My Peeps

    259
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    Dec 25, 2012
    Oakhurst Oklahoma
    The youngster is out of the flock until he grows up (and then its only a maybe that he return). I have been watching and the eggs are just not fertile (maybe 1 in 12), Big Red greats the girls each time they lay and other times throughout the day. I have enuf fertile hens so these girls will be put up for re-homing as soon as the aussies start laying. I cannot complain about these girls, they have layed all winter with only some added light.
     

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