Vitamin E is well known as the fertility vitamin. To improve fertility, one of several choices can be used, but use of more than one of these methods should be avoided to prevent overdose.
Vitamin E being fat stored, must be given at a proper dose to avoid breeding problems due to overdose. Overdosed hens may fail to hatch chicks because the excess vitamin E causes them to re-cycle too quickly and lose their incubation temperature.
Methods for giving extra vitamin E beyond dietary sources include:
- ABBA High Fertility Water Soluble Vitamin E – This is my favorite method as a measured amount (1/2 teaspoon) is mixed with one gallon water. This is used as the only bird water one day a week. I like to start the males on it about six weeks before breeding and the hens about three weeks before breeding. Males receive the one day weekly treatment till the end of the season while the hens receive it weekly only until they lay their first egg. Yesterday, my males got their second dose of the season.
- Recently, Donald of South Africa shared that he feeds wheat germ oil directly into the beak. Using a syringe, he delivers a couple of drops into the mouth each week. Feathers around the beak may come out if excess oil repeatedly get on the feathers around the beak. Currently, I have a couple of Border males who are lagging behind. I am trying this method on them instead of the ABBA Vitamin E in the water. After a couple of doses, these males are making improvement. It could possibly be a technique to use on stragglers.
- Bird seed can be coated with wheat germ oil. Doyle shared this recipe with me: two cups of fortified animal wheat germ oil (horse) is blended with 5lbs of straight canary seed and set for two days. Then this is mixed with 50 lbs of canary mix. His initial results using this have been quite good.