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Two roosters not doing their job with my 8 hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mychoock, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. mychoock

    mychoock Out Of The Brooder

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    I have two roosters and 8 hens, all housed together. I thought the roosters were doing their job, because they certainly chase the hens a lot, although I had never actually seen a rooster mating with a hen. I know they breed very quickly, so I wasn't worried until my broody hen wasted a month sitting on 14 eggs which all turned out to be unfertilized.

    Does anyone know what is going on here? All the birds are one and a half years old. One rooster is very dominant, but both have plenty of chances to breed the hens. The hens lay lots of eggs.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    They may be knocking one another off the hens when they attempt to breed. I would suggest removing one rooster from the flock.
     
  3. mychoock

    mychoock Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for a quick answer. I actually am thinking of giving one rooster and a couple hens to a neighbor...
    How do I know which ones to keep, and which to give away?
    I have one particularly flighty annoying hen which I would be glad to give away, if it isn't too mean to give away a bird with personality problems.
    Any advice?
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Show pictures of bird as they look now. Show nesting arrangements. How has weather been immediately prior and during the most recent effort to incubate eggs.
     
  5. mychoock

    mychoock Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay, give me a day to get pics and get them into a post. I am running out the door to work right now.
    The weather this summer has been what we call hot, that is between 80 and 90 F during the day and dropping below 70 F at night. We had an unusual stretch of this weather, during which I collected the eggs for my broody hen, and she sat on her nest.
    So, weather could be a factor?

    I'll be back tonight.
     
  6. mychoock

    mychoock Out Of The Brooder

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    Here are the pictures.[​IMG]
    This is the dominant rooster.[​IMG]

    This is the hen who was broody.[​IMG]
    You can perhaps see a bald patch on her back, which most of the hens have. I was thinking that was from the roosters when they have their way with the girls. Is there a different reason?
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Birds look pretty good except for bald spots from rooster treading on hens. A null hatch for a single brood is not strong evidence for infertility or impotence. Several factors could be at play. If eggs got too hot or hen stressed then hatch rate can be terrible even though eggs were fertile when layed. Nutrition late in summer can be a stressor. I doubt if the roosters totally cock-blocked each other to point copulations where not resulting in transfer of semen.



    To control for most, isolate and condition a hen or hens from which a clutch is desired. Give hen a pen to herself and up the feed a bit, especially if greens can be found. Put hen in with rooster(s) every couple days for about 30 minutes. Both will likely cover / tread on / copulate / mate with her in that interval. Then return her to her pen. Give a nice nest that is shaded to keep eggs clean and dry. Let her set a clutch to try again. This is method I use to increase odds a stressed hen will produce a good hatch. You also be more likely to witness copulations.
     
  8. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    The roosters are definitely mating the hens--that's what the bald patches are from. I agree with centrarchid that it's possible to have a zero percent hatch on fully fertilized eggs.

    Also, give away the birds that you want to get rid of. You don't need to keep birds you don't like out of a sense of honor. [​IMG]
     
  9. angel8035

    angel8035 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those are beautiful birds.
     
  10. mychoock

    mychoock Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. Wow, this is really good advice. I thought chickens were pretty easy, but I am learning so much. That doesn't sound like what I am trying to say.
    What I mean is, there is a lot to understand, and there is a huge amount of knowledge out there for me to acquire. If I want to collect eggs for a broody hen, at what temperature must they be kept, and how long can I store them before putting them under the hen? I collected eggs for two or three days, but now that I think about it, there was likely too much daytime heat, and perhaps too cool at night. Maybe too hot for the hen? But I know hens in hot climates successfully hatch chicks. Hmmm...

    I will not likely get another chance to have a hen hatch out chicks this year, because we will be going into cold weather pretty quickly here, and I don't want young birds in the snow. But I am going to make plans for spring, and try to get everything in place for having a brood hatch out then.
    Thanks again. BTW, are you the same person who has the German Short Haired Pointer which you use as a chicken guard dog?
     

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