Fertility

The place to discuss incubating, hatching and rearing chickens.

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happy hen
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Re: Fertility

Post by happy hen » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:43 pm

Marigold, thanks for the feed info...I shall definitely change brands at the end of this bag, shame as copdock mill just opened a shop a couple of miles from me so I admit to pure laziness.
I'll also put feelers out for a fresh cockeral, my current boy is so laid back I was rather hoping to keep one of his sons from this year alongside him - they free range over 1/2 acre so shouldn't be problem if I also keep more hens. My hens range from 1 to 5 years - I try to keep one every year so there's always young stock coming through.
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Marigold
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Re: Fertility

Post by Marigold » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:13 pm

They're very lucky, to have so much room to range, and I'm sure this must be a great help in rounding out the variety in their diet with lots of natural extras.
MrsBiscuit
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Re: Fertility

Post by MrsBiscuit » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:19 pm

That's very interesting Chris, I love finding out stuff like this, even for breeds I don't keep. My experience is also that the shell quality of many older hens does deteriorate, but if you are lucky enough to have an excellent hen (which could take many forms like mothering abilities, a good doer, very close to standard, very productive etc) with excellent eggs, then I would keep using her till its no longer a good idea for whatever reason. I know a very successful breeder of LF blue orps who would regularly use 4 & 5 year old hens to produce stunning birds. However, orps are not the most productive of fowl, so it is quite possible that they can go on producing good quality eggs for longer than a more productive breed.
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chrismahon
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Re: Fertility

Post by chrismahon » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:15 am

The only time we've really noticed a serious deterioration in shell quality is with hybrids- in as little as 12 months. Pure breeds tend to produce larger eggs in time but with the same amount of shell- so therefore it is a bit thinner overall. However that isn't always the case and the Wyandottes have particularly strong shells with low porosity, which means for hatching the initial humidity must be very low to produce the necessary air sac. This caused a problem when we hatched from our 6 year olds as, even running dry in a dry environment, we struggled to develop the air sac and lost one of the 12 as a result. So worth considering that the prescribed humidity levels for hatching are just an average value, which may work, depending on the breed. For this reason I wouldn't recommend mixing breeds in an incubator.
happy hen
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Re: Fertility

Post by happy hen » Thu May 09, 2019 3:06 pm

The warmer weather has made a big difference 😊 next lot of eggs set end of April 90% fertility. Note to self for next year - WAIT 😂
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