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Broody Hen Fertility ?

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:03 pm
by Stocker Steve
The wife has a small flock of chickens. Recently hens decided to get broody:
The oldest hen is 4 yrs old and has been sitting on a clutch for over 21 days. She will leave the nest for a while and then go back. No chicks...
The other two are 2 yrs old and are sitting side by side on the same clutch. Three out of ten eggs have hatched...
The hens are still sitting but the wife is worried about the lack of success. Do you think old hens lose fertility, or lose staying power, or do we have some lesbians in the flock?

Re: Broody Hen Fertility ?

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:30 pm
by skyhightree1
Stocker Steve wrote:The wife has a small flock of chickens. Recently hens decided to get broody:
The oldest hen is 4 yrs old and has been sitting on a clutch for over 21 days. She will leave the nest for a while and then go back. No chicks...
The other two are 2 yrs old and are sitting side by side on the same clutch. Three out of ten eggs have hatched...
The hens are still sitting but the wife is worried about the lack of success. Do you think old hens lose fertility, or lose staying power, or do we have some lesbians in the flock?


By far im not a poultry expert but animals have same issues humans would have basically with infertility. could be numerous things like you said and more. Nutrition?

Re: Broody Hen Fertility ?

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:27 am
by wbvs58
I'd be chopping off the roosters head. Get another one that is more up to the job.
Or have you got enough roosters for the number of hens?

Ken

Re: Broody Hen Fertility ?

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:02 am
by BRYANT
The problem is 3 hens setting on one clutch of eggs. When a hen starts setting let her sit for about a week then move her to her own small pen give her about 3 days to hold nest then throw out all the eggs and give her a new clutch. 3 hen moving around, fighting over nest, some eggs not getting covered good , won't work. 1 hen per nest with just enough eggs she can cover good with none sticking out also do all moving and working with nest at night.

Re: Broody Hen Fertility ?

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:46 am
by slick4591
I have notice I get less fertility during extreme heat periods. Other factors of low fertility can include them having vent feathers in the way or their age. I have three Wyandottes that are five years old. Right now I only get 5-6 eggs every 10 days and only two of them have been fertile after two tries at setting them. I incubate so I never let any birds set their eggs.

Re: Broody Hen Fertility ?

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:57 am
by M.Magis
I get a broody one every few months. I don’t do anything special for them, and I never have a large percentage hatch. The most was a bantam last fall, she probably hatched 7-8 chicks, but I assumed she’d raise them and I was wrong. I’d find one or two dead every day and finally had to pull the last 3 and raised them in a tank. The most recent, the hen sat on 4 and one hatched. She left the nest after it hatched and after a few days I pitched the remaining eggs. It sounded like a plastic bag popping when they hit the ground, and the stink would gag a buzzard. If she leaves them eggs for a day, pitch them. eventually they’ll “explode” and you don’t want to clean that stuff up.
I think hens that don’t have experience may not do a great job the first time or two, and as mentioned, two on one nest isn’t ideal either.

Re: Broody Hen Fertility ?

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:21 am
by Duramaxgirl
Give the whole flock vitamins and electrolytes in their water. Helps with low fertility or eggs not making it very far. What is the roosters breed?

Re: Broody Hen Fertility ?

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:56 pm
by Stocker Steve
My wife' flock is 1/3 roosters so the hens get plenty.
We don't provide any vitamins.
Clutch coverage could be part of the problem.

Re: Broody Hen Fertility ?

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:37 pm
by ez14
Stocker Steve wrote:My wife' flock is 1/3 roosters so the hens get plenty.
We don't provide any vitamins.
Clutch coverage could be part of the problem.

They need to be able to cover ALL the eggs at once (if they cant the outside eggs get cold and die then the hen rotates them till they all get cold and die) if there are to many roosters they will spend to much time fighting and not enough time with the hens

Re: Broody Hen Fertility ?

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:13 pm
by BRYANT
Stocker Steve wrote: Clutch coverage could be part of the problem.

split the setting hen off and I bet your problem will be solved.
I have hatched somewhere between 75 to 100 chicks this year. my chickens get no special vitamins mater-a- fact they free range some and eat 14% calf creep in the small pellet like a 5/32 I think. its only 7.00 a bag and they will lay fine on it after they get adjusted to it in winter I use same feed in the 20%. I will throw them a can of corn once in a while.

Re: Broody Hen Fertility ?

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:15 am
by Stocker Steve
BRYANT wrote:
Stocker Steve wrote: Clutch coverage could be part of the problem.

split the setting hen off and I bet your problem will be solved.


I think you are right. The sister setters did manage to hatch out some chicks, and now they share the mothering. The old spinster' nest was a total loss. She would set for a week or so, go on holiday for a day or two, and then go back to setting...