Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Time Out - Reintroducing the Male

These Border chicks are fourteen days old. This is the perfect time to reintroduce the male into the cage for maximum second round fertility because the chicks stay out of the way and do not inhibit mating.

I reintroduce the Border male in their cage today and the hen immediately squatted upon hearing the male's breeding song and the pair successfully mated! After an hour and a few more matings, he was removed from the cage. I will repeat this at least daily till she is laying.

But by the 18th day, chicks are leaving the nest and begging for food and just generally getting in the way and interfering with mating. Time for what I call a Time Out.

During a Time Out, the chicks are moved temporarily to another cage for an hour so that the adult birds can have more opportunity for mating. Once the male is removed, the chicks are returned to their brood mothers.

The five Border chicks in Time Out were from these Borders in a colony breeding of two hens with one male who was then moved on to other hens.

Critical Concept: The perfect time to reintroduce male to the rearing hen for maximum fertility on the second round is when the chicks are fourteen days old.


Anonymous said...


How many times per 24hrs do you think the male bird can mate properly, that is actually pass semen. I ask this because I use the strike method and am always worried about "spinning out" the cock with needless matings.

Also, should I continue introducing the cock for mating after the hen has laid her first egg, or is it pointless by that stage?


Anonymous said...

I really like the pics of them border chicks :-) please keep them coming.


Linda Hogan said...

The veterinary literature says that it takes 1 to 4 days to produce mature ready sperm. High sperm counts are necessary for fertility.

Ideally, I try to give the male some time out. If possible, I give him two days off and mate him to one or two hens on his working day.
If you work him more than that, you may get a number of infertile eggs.

I have been desperate with my new German male DKB3501 #30 and have over worked him because I want not only numbers of chicks but testing with a number of genetic options. I have tried to keep it to one hen and in with him from 5 pm to 10 am and then the rest of the day off.

If I can, I continue to introduce to the hen for the first couple of days to make sure the final eggs are fertile.

The ideal number of chicks in a nest is probably two or three depending on the kind. More do better when fostered to a similar nest with less chicks.

The hen is more receptive when she first starts building her nest or when her chicks are 14 days old. As time progresses she tends to be less receptive. Of course, this also varies with the hen.