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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:18 am 
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Proud Rooster
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I bought a pair of Silvers some time back anyway I have been trying to breed them this year with no success. I have incubated just on 40 eggs now and every single one has been infertile. There is definitely a cock and hen, is it possible the previous owner could have done something so that I was unable to breed from them?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:26 am 
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Assist Admin
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I would not think it could be easily done.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:00 am 
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Proud Rooster
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That's what I though as their little anatomys would be much different to that of a cat or a dog. I might have a look today around their vents to see any possible signs of scarring where an incision could have been made. Very odd, they are on the same food as the other, same water supply, same pen setup/conditions. Not old either they would only be 1 or 2 yrs.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:29 am 
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I have never heard of anybody desexing a bird. I don't think it would be practical or cost effective to do that.

Have you considered artificial insemination just to see if he's hitting the target?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:55 am 
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Showy Hen
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With the red eye gene often comes difficulty seeing and like Cathy said, he may have problems hitting the target? Maybe try a proven Cinnamon cock split for Lavender if possible over the Silver hen to try and get some fertile eggs from her this season?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:15 am 
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Wise One
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I don't know why anyone would go to the trouble. Perhaps there is some other fertility issue with one of the birds?

Silvers shouldn't be difficult to breed if you know how to go about it. Having said that, I found that the keets weren't as robust resulting in poorer hatches, & keets being fragile & more difficult to start early on.

Have you considered re-pairing them with Cinnamon? If they will settle into the new pairing early enough you may still get some fertile eggs this season. You may also be able to identify if one bird isn't performing in the fertility department. Silver x Cinnamon will produce all Cinnamon keets, unless the Cinnamon have lavender in which case you could produce approx 50% Silver keets also. If no Silver produced, pairing the cinnamon keets from these matings next season could produce approx 25% Silver keets. Or you could back-cross to the silver parent/s.

One other thing. Are the birds compatible? Sometimes the birds we selectively pair aren't.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:50 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Guineas can have very reduced fertility if highly inbred too. Think maybe pairing them up to unrelated partners might be a go next year.

Technically it's possible to capionise a guinea just like a cockerel, but why would anyone bother? Silvers are not that hard to come by. And by the way, the incisions would be near the small of the back (nowhere near the vent)

I had a group some years ago that failed to hatch chicks. Turned out they had two generations of full sibling mating behind them & all the males were non- workers. I understand that guineas suffer more from inbreeding than many breeds of chickens. That could easily be the explanation in your silvers too as many of the less common colours tend to be inbred more.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:37 pm 
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Wise One
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Breeders in my experience have often started with just a couple of Silver birds sourced from the one breeder, because a few years ago there weren't quite as many around, or as easily obtained. And probably fair to say that some breeders weren't sure of other ways to go about breeding silver, with silver to silver likely the best option? These birds tended to be bred together, @ least in some instances, & their sibling progeny then sold on & bred, sibling to sibling, resulting in highly inbred birds.

To produce Silver Guinea Fowl, two recessive mutations have to be combined in pure form. This tends to encourage close breeding to get gene combinations right. Mating totally unrelated birds (as far as you can be sure) as suggested by Andrewschooks will still get results & would be a good way to go I think. You could try an unrelated Pearl Grey male (not carrying) over the Silver hen for example. All grey progeny would inherit both lavender & cinnamon mutations from the silver bird. Interbreeding a few of these grey siblings together could produce close to 20% Cinnamon, 20% Lavender, & 6% Silver keets. Producing numbers should ensure results.

The bulk of my Cinnamons were produced by initially mating a Cinnamon male over three unrelated (as far as I was aware) Pearl Grey hens. No Cinnamon in the F1s, but when these (Pearl Greys carrying autosomal recessive cinnamon factor) were interbred, they produced 22% Cinnamon keets, according to my records.

Although I thought these Cinnamon keets should have been reasonably vigorous, they weren't as robust as the greys & lavenders. Same for the Silver (due to the cinnamon mutation). The cinnamon factor I found reduced survivability, in hatching eggs & post hatching keets. Some performed better than others. Sight varied a bit between birds, but I don't believe sight alone was the total reason for reduced survival rate. I believe the gene caused varying degrees of harm in other ways to the keets in the early stages of development. Those that reached around three to four weeks of age usually did ok, although poor sight always a problem.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:33 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Cathy: I read this article once about this guy showing how easy it was to AI a chicken. A guinea would be no different. From memory he got the sperm onto a teaspoon from the cock bird, then did the same thing with the hen but just tipped it into her vent area and her cloaca takes it in. I would like some pure Silver's, I'm willing to try it as I have never done it before but it seems very involved. Maybe I will just put the Silver hen in with the Cinnamon's.

Rollyard: I will have a proper read of all your advice and from Andrewschooks and decide on something.

I sat in their pen for a good 10 minutes this evening. I haven't witnessed them mating however they are always together and follow each other around. I was aware of the sight issues but hadn't really noticed a difference with them. Tonight however on closer inspection, they do look somewhat dazed and when they look at you their not really looking at you? Like their eyes are sort of off to the side. They are the friendliest out of all my other Guineas, you can walk up to them and pick them up and they don't get startled easily. Maybe they are very near sighted.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:54 am 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Actually I moved my cinnamons and silvers on a year ago s I free range mine. The red eyed ones were just not up for the challenges of free ranging as they appeared too vision impaired and maybe a bit intellectually inadequate too?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:16 am 
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Wise Wyandotte
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And getting back to AI. The difficult thing is training the male so you can 'collect'. The placement step is not so tricky. With flighty birds like guineas, I don't like your chances in training a male!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:23 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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I retract all my previous statements I candled one of their eggs tonight and it's fertile and moving. Also, I had been writing "sil" on the top of each egg collected. Looked in the main brooder today and I saw 3 what look to be silvers. Don't know how I missed them. They are pretty much exactly the same as the 3 "albino type" in my other thread however I don't recall seeing any cracked eggs in the hatcher with the "sil"

Having not hatched Silvers before I am ansure what they look like as day olds but these little guys are an extremely light creamy colour, like an off white. Red eyes too with the very thin velvet like fuzz.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:04 am 
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Wise One
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Good news on getting some fertility. You should only produce silver out of silver x silver.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:12 am 
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Golden Swan
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Oh that is exciting news.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:59 am 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Good news! It does sound like fertility is low however? That may well be the result of inbreeding, so now that you have a few more to work with, an outcross to an unrelated line might still be a plan for next season?


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