I have paired a single Roller cock with 2 hens, one of which produced 1 chick last year, and the other is that same chick. The cock is the son of the older hen and the father of last years chick. The older hen had 1 clutch with 4 eggs, which were all infertile. The young hen had 2 clutches which were all infertile. After removing the first clutch from the older hen she has not laid again, which has been 3 weeks now.
I have just removed the second clutch of infertile eggs from the younger chick and am now wondering if I am wasting my time this year.
Your advice would be greatly appreciated.
Big Bird says, "How disappointed you must feel Steve, after having chicks last year and to come up empty handed this year. Each year the birds must be in full breeding condition to produce chicks. Both the male and female must fully participate and actually although both are important, the hen begging to be fed and to mate seems to be the most important in the equation.
I ran some experiment this year with pairs who resisted coming into breeding condition, Of course, they need to be healthy and of normal weight and not too thin or any strong push could threaten the bird's life. These birds are producing now, hatching uniformly on the 13th day of incubation and feeding great.
I wrote a blog post about what to do and now here is my update on what really worked. I experimented with two Orlux (Versele-Laga) products this year, first the Orlux fert-vit which is given in the water daily till laying. This product is so weak that even given daily for weeks, did not bring cocks into breeding condition especially the Borders. In fact, it is so weak that the only thing it is good for is tightening up feathers and general conditioning on show birds and preparing birds for song competition. This product does not hold a candle to ABBA Fertility E which is an excellent conditioner for breeding but two strong other than once a month for the other uses.
I also experimented with Orlux omi-vit. It is designed to use once a week year round and twice a week during breeding season. This is a much better product but still some birds resisted coming into condition and I think it would work much better had I started it a year before rather than testing it on the problem cases at the time of the problem and after the Orlux fertility E had already failed to bring them in. The twice a week worked well for most birds.
Like you I had a few who even with my conditioning either produced infertile eggs, even on two consecutive clutches or laid no eggs at all. These are signs that suggest that more vitamin E might do the trick. So I gave them Orlux omi-vit daily and after about a week or 10 days, they got with the program and started producing. All hatching on the 13th day but overall smaller nests of two or three than the majority of birds who came in easier. Overdose can happen and is evident when hens fail to sit or feed.
I definitely will keep working with these products and won't wait to use the daily Orlux omi-vit on cases where the first round is infertile.
Be sure the diet supports egg laying (calcium/D3) and your birds are healthy and then I say Go For It!"