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Rooster infertile or just not doing it right?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Beth0202, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. Beth0202

    Beth0202 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello everyone,
    So I recently bought and set up my first incubator, a hova-bator 1602n. I'm really excited to try hatching my own eggs for the first time, however it appears to me that they are not fertile! I've examined many cracked eggs and cannot see the 'bulls eye' in any of them. I have not put any eggs in my bator yet.
    I have a ~2 year old wheaten ameraucana rooster in with 9 girls of various breeds, all standard size. I've seen him breeding most of them more than once. He is pretty active with the girls! So, do you think its likely he is simply not fertile or just doesn't have his technique right? I'm wondering if I should try AI before I give up on him?
    I will post pictures of my egg yolks tomorrow for you guys to see them too, maybe I'm wrong about them!
    I should also note that he has been with these girls for close to a year.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would first check his where abouts during the WHOLE DAY.. He may be secretly sneaking off to the drug store and purchasing items that are intended for safety. [​IMG]
     
  3. KeyFlock

    KeyFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    Do you have any pictures of the eggs? We might be able to help you if you could post some.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ummm....er..... chickens don't have that appendage.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    No @cavemanrich roosters don't have a penis.
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi

    I think it's most likely that you are just not assessing the eggs' fertility correctly. Some eggs have obvious bulls eyes but some are more difficult to distinguish and I'm not convinced it is an exact science.
    Since you presumably obtained an incubator with the intention of hatching some eggs, then to me it makes sense to put some of your eggs in and see if they develop rather than dither about whether they look fertile or not. You will be able to tell after a few days by candling them, so my advice would be to just... "go for it".... you have nothing to lose. It may take you a few goes to find the optimum settings for hatching with your incubator anyway, so the sooner you get started, the sooner you will figure it out..

    Good luck and don't forget to have a plan for what you are going to do with the excess cockerels that will result.

    Best wishes

    Barbara.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Good post!^^

    I agree the bullseye thing is not 100%.
    If you have white or light eggs, candling at 3-4 days may show you if they are developing....
    ......but being new at hatching it may you take more days to see what there is to see.

    Darker brown and blue/green eggs can very difficult to see into.....
    ....each egg is different, so if you don't see anything at first don't despair.
    Just keep trying...sometimes you have to wait until hatch day or after.

    I found candling very hard to do at first, got much easier after that first hatch.
    First Hatch - I candled on day 7-10-14-18.
    :
    Day 7 - didn't see much but the air cells, which I outlined with a pencil every time I candled, maybe some veining and lumps..maybe moving...I was very disappointed.
    Day 10 - could definitely see veins and some movement...maybe some clears and blood rings.
    Day 14 - saw much more definition of shape, movement and realized what I had seen the previous times. Clears and blood ring more obvious.
    Day 18 - pulled the now very obvious clears and blood rings. Viable chicks almost filled egg and wasn't as much movement.

    Knew much better what to look for the next time I incubated. It just takes some practice and experience.
    Candle well after sunset or in a dark windowless room, I used a cardboard template with a hole cut to fit into a utility light shade with a 60watt bulb. Also used a very bright flashlight and just my hand in a windowless room after I got better at it.
     
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use broody hens to incubate, so I mostly leave them to it with very little checking but I remember the first time I candled, I didn't think I could see anything. until I compared them to an egg that had just been laid and then development in the incubated egg was obvious. I just used a torch and my hand in the hen house at night. I agree that dark eggs are significantly more difficult to tell though.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    A pitch dark room makes a world of difference too....I have a lavatory with no windows quite near my bator, tons easier to candle in there.
     
  10. Beth0202

    Beth0202 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2013
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    Everyone,
    I appreciate all the reply's! I plan to go ahead and put some eggs in the incubator today or tomorrow and see what happens! I've had it up and running for 2.5 days now and it seems to be working correctly and I've collected 10 eggs to try and if I get more today I'll add those as well. I have raised 2-3 day old chicks before but have never incubated/hatched any eggs so this is a new adventure for me! I do plan to cull and eat any extra cockerels. That process is also a new step for me but I think I'm ready! Watched LOTS of informative youtube videos on culling/butchering [​IMG]
    I know nothing compares to hands on experience but gotta start somewhere! Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself here! Don't count your chickens before they hatch right?

    Okay here are some pictures of my eggs, fertile or infertile? What do you think?
    [​IMG]

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    THANKS!
     

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