Infertile rooster?

BlueTheBrahma

Songster
Sep 2, 2021
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My Brahma Rooster is about 14 months old now, mating several times a day with my small flock of Brahma hens. I kept him first in a mixed flock, and attempted my first hatch earlier this year. Nothing. It was a new incubator, and eggs I had bought had also not hatched, so I put it down to being early in the year and the fact I couldn’t the incubator properly as it was a second hand temperamental one. Later I had a broody hen sit on 12 eggs. Six Brahma, six Silver Welsummer. I know my welsummers to be fertile, but non hatched (she cracked all but four but still no hatching) since two lots of eggs didn’t hatch I assumed it was the hen’s fault. Don’t know why I didn’t give them a crack open.
I now have 28 eggs in my friends brinsea incubator, again a mix of Brahma and silver welsummer. It’s only day 4, and I need to replace the battery on my candler, but using my phone torch I could see development in the Wellie eggs, but again nothing for the brahmas.
I really hope it isn’t time for the pot for him, as he’s one of my favourites, being two foot six and an unusually dark splash colour and I would like to pass on these genes. Is there any reason for this? Can it be helped or is it time I find a new roo?
 
Brahmas are known to have a very fluffy butt, so trimming back the enormous amount of feathers on both females and male around their cloacas could help with "hitting the target".

Some antibiotics can lead to infertility, so did you treat your Brahmas using antibiotics for respitarory or other illness?
 
Brahmas are known to have a very fluffy butt, so trimming back the enormous amount of feathers on both females and male around their cloacas could help with "hitting the target".

Some antibiotics can lead to infertility, so did you treat your Brahmas using antibiotics for respitaroty or other illness?
Nope they’ve never had any antibiotics. I’ll try trimming them this weekend. How do I go about that? Also I am sure I’ve seen the bullseye shape in the yolks before, but I saw it once and forgot to look out again.

Edit: the egg with a bullseye may not have been a Brahma, just a hen he had mated with, perhaps the problem is the brahma hens’ fluffy butts.
 
Trim back their butt area to allow free access to the cloaca, best to use scissors with rounded ends in order to not inflict any injuries in case of squirming. Maybe get someone to help you, as Brahma are quite heavy to hold with just one hand.

And while you are at it, inspect for lice or mites.

What exactly are you feeding them? Roosters need some more vitamin E for proper development of sperm and some animal protein as well.
 
Trim back their butt area to allow free access to the cloaca, best to use scissors with rounded ends in order to not inflict any injuries in case of squirming. Maybe get someone to help you, as Brahma are quite heavy to hold with just one hand.

And while you are at it, inspect for lice or mites.

What exactly are you feeding them? Roosters need some more vitamin E for proper development of sperm and some animal protein as well.
They get a mixture of layers meal, poultry conditioner and then my Granddad (it’s a three generation thing) comes and gives them scraps on top. I often feel worried about feeding them meat as it is sort of against the law (not like a prison sentence or anything) in the UK, so are scraps and mealworms technically. But I can always feed them egg or peas as a bit of a protein boost, not sure about vitamin E.

Edit: just googled and it says sunflower seeds are an excellent source, these are in the poultry conditioner.
 
Layer meal contains too much calcium for roosters, it might be better to change to an all flock and offer oyster shells on the side for additional calcium, so the laying hens will be able to meet their demand.
If your flock is able to free-range or similar, I would stop the mealworms. It would be much healthier to feed them some of their own hardboiled eggs with shredded carrots and barley. Chickens that are too fat can suffer from (temporary) infertility.
 
I'd certainly try the feather trimming. Cochin (Peking in the UK) and Orpington are other breeds that can have that problem.

It is possible he is infertile. Different things can cause that other than being born that way, like frostbite or certain diseases.

The embryos are alive so you can kill them by your handling, especially if the get too hot or cold. If you feed the Brahma like you do your fertile Wellies and handle the eggs the same way I'd think it unlikely to be a handling or diet issue.

If you really want his offspring you can try artificial insemination in case he is unable to do the deed himself. I haven't done that but supposedly it isn't too hard. But here's hoping the feather trimming does the trick.
 
Layer meal contains too much calcium for roosters, it might be better to change to an all flock and offer oyster shells on the side for additional calcium, so the laying hens will be able to meet their demand.
If your flock is able to free-range or similar, I would stop the mealworms. It would be much healthier to feed them some of their own hardboiled eggs with shredded carrots and barley. Chickens that are too fat can suffer from (temporary) infertility.
Speaking of feed and roosters, would it be ok to feed starter/grower forever instead of Layer or All Flock?
 
This would depend on the kind of starter/grower you plan on feeding and the kind of birds you have.
Dumor chick starter/grower crumble from TSC.
I have 7 pullets and 1 cockerel. Breeds are: Blue Copper Maran, Sapphire Gem, Buff Orpington's, Easter Eggers, Olive Egger, Isa brown.
 

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