Clear eggs occur often early in the breeding season,
before birds are really in breeding condition. Hastiness in putting birds
together can waste a considerable amount of time and breeders who rush the
season can easily find themselves apace with more patient breeders in a
story reminiscent of The Tortoise and The Hare . . . A breeder of
my acquaintance waits until nearly March before putting his birds
together, allowing them to come into condition naturally without the use
of any breeding stimulants at all except light and comes up with nearly
two hundred babies after a single round of nesting every year. Every nest
has four or five babies and he experiences very few clear eggs. Other
breeders beginning in December have to breed three rounds with the same
number of hens to come up with the same results- often finishing the
season later than the patient breeder!
Fertility can be affected by unstable perching which
does not allow successful copulation. Obesity in either male or hen can
also make copulation more difficult and impact fertility.
The time span between mating and the laying of
fertile eggs is a matter of debate. Some breeders believe that 24 hours is
the minimum period of time and others that four or five days are required
between mating and commencement of laying for all eggs to be fertile. One
day is cutting it rather fine, but it is possible.
Eggs can continue to be fertile for a considerable
time after mating. Anecdotal evidence indicates that fertile eggs have
been laid weeks after a hen has mated, although this time span is probably
For all eggs to be fertile, males used for stud
should be in the cage at least through the laying of the fourth egg. Males
can be run with one hen in the morning and placed with another in the
afternoon or left in one henís cage all day. Hens can sometimes become
overly attached to a male and refuse to sit without his presence- with
these birds, leaving the male in the breeding cage until the hen has been
sitting for several days can help as she is fairly well attached to her
duties by this time.
Infertile Eggs by Robirda