Rouens fertility..


12 Years
Sep 2, 2009
Claxton, GA
Hello All!!

My five Rouen ducks ( 4 hens to 1 drake) all live on our natural pond, I had raised them from 2 days old and released them to the pond when they were fully feathered. They turned 6 months old about 2 weeks ago. The hens have started laying wherever they please - one here, one over there, etc.. No broodies right now in this bunch. I had found five eggs around the pond and decided "what the heck" let's see if they are fertile so I placed them under a broody chicken, upon candling them a couple weeks later there were no signs of development. I recently found four more eggs yesterday and again thought I'd give it another shot, under the broody chicken they went.

I have read on the internet that some duck breeds, males that is, are not fertile during the Fall/Winter months. But resume closer to Spring. So more than likely any eggs laid by the hens prior to Spring are infertile. TRUE??

I was just curious if any of you Rouen owners have successfully hatched eggs this time of year or am I wasting my broody's time? Is the incubation period 28 days?

Any input is greatly appreciated
My Rouens have always been very fertile, hatching up to 17 eggs at a time. But it's normally earlier, I don't know about this time of year. Right now they aren't that interested in the female, don't think they're breeding much at all.
My drake is very much into getting his "groove thing" on with the girls right now. So once Winter is in full gear he will probably slow it down? So do you think any eggs between now and then should have a high fertility rate or could he be just 'shooting blanks' (as my hubby would say
That would be a good question, I know i have had drakes that couldnt reproduce to save their live, then I have had drakes that could fertilize a hen just by being within the same zip code as her. Have you had good luck with that drake fertilizing eggs? Normally they will still mate, just in my experience it slows down in the winter.
I think it's very normal for the first eggs to be infertile. I think its more to do with the reproductive system of the hen than of the drake. The first ones are sort of a trial run, I guess.

I have brand new coturnix quail that started to lay at 5 1/2 weeks old (which is normal for them). I tried to incubate a few, and they were almost all infertile as well.

Just give it some time -- I've heard after about 3-4 weeks the fertility goes way up.
Not yet I haven't, this is their first time laying/mating. The first bunch of eggs that I found had no sign of development when I candled them after two weeks of being under a broody chicken. So I got rid of them. I currently have four eggs that I found near the pond split between two broody chickens. So we'll see in a few days.
There is a possibility that the "dropped" eggs may have been chilled or contaminated. A more likely possibility is that the drake may be "shooting blanks" at this time. As he matures and testosterone levels increase his fertility may increase. "Shooting blanks" is a scientific/breeding term used by all of us guys.
I think I learned it in an animal breeding course.

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