Sterile female pigeons
It’s a broad concept. Indeed, this ranges from sterility “from the birth of a pigeon” to the sterility of old age, through relative sterility (the female lays very little), and sterility practiced by laying abnormal eggs (without shell for example ) or sterile (clear eggs) or giving pipants dying systematically “in the shell” or in their first hours. In short females that are unable to give young. The enumeration above obviously lets suppose that the causes of this sterility can be multiple. That’s what we’re going to see. Some perfectly normal-looking females never lay eggs. I have known in my career two of them, extraordinary travellers. The first, some 50 years ago, never laid in its life, but very easily took an egg, then a second, 2 days later, then if the fancier decided, took a young 8 days and there, became unbeatable in the middle distance.On the physiological level, note that if the eggs were left to hatch, this female raised them without difficulty and experienced a completely normal “pope” secretion. While the gonadotropic hormones play an essential role in the reproductive cycle, and while its deficiency in these hormones is not in doubt, there was therefore no deficiency in prolactin, the hormone determining brooding and the rise of the “Pope”. The other female, German, had a prize in the top five at Barcelona and a 2nd at Perpignan international. This means that its owner really wanted to have a few young ones. I administered several injections of gonadotropic hormones to this female a few days apart and this treatment proved to be perfectly effective. It is therefore a kind of infantilism of the female genitalia, which the hormonal intervention has caused to rapidly evolve towards fertility. Genital old age can occur at any age. In the normal, this occurs between eight and fourteen years of age extreme and very rare. Usually around 10 – 11 years old.Just as for congenital sterility (from birth) heredity plays a key role in the age of this loss of fertility. Thus the female that I mentioned first, and who therefore never had any descendants, had a brother as brilliant a traveler as she was. And in the very numerous descendants of this male, at one – two – three generations, my friend always had one, two, three sterile females from birth. There was therefore through the generations, a “sterility” character that wandered in the genome of the line. The problems raised by relative sterility are infinitely more complex.
Admittedly, some lines are not very prolific and the females can lay only 4 or 5 times throughout the year (excluding any amateur intervention of course) and here too heredity plays a role. But there are other possible factors, food first. It is well known that obesity in females at mating greatly delays egg-laying. It is therefore good to ration (in quantity) the females before mating them.
Not in certain essential elements on the other hand: a sufficient rate of proteins (legumes), minerals, vitamins (A – D3 – E group B) is essential and their insufficiency is also a cause of temporary sterility. Infinitely more complicated is sterility of microbial or viral origin. We have seen the problem of breeding microbisms in the past, these microbisms which start from one organ (for example the sinuses -coryza or the intestine) gradually spread to other organs, including the ovary and the oviduct. These germs are generally staphylococci, colibacilli, salmonella (paratyphosis) mycoplasma etc. The diagnosis depends of course on the context. When the colony is affected by paratyphosis, the sterility of some of the females is a classic aspect of the microbism, among other possible symptoms (arthritis – diarrhea – weight loss – “black” eggs – sudden mortality of pipants at 10 – 12 days etc. ). It is then relatively easy to make a diagnosis. But in a good number of cases, it is much more complex and caution dictates that bacteriological research should specify the problem.Admittedly, certain microbisms have specific symptoms: staphylococcus causes the death of the pipant “in scale” (it digs into the shell but cannot get out) or in the first 48 hours. E.coli or Mycoplasma gives lots of clear eggs etc. But it is very common for two different microbes to be involved. A very recent bacteriological research on eggs showed not only a staphylococcus but also a mycoplasma. Staphylococcus was strongly suspected, but mycoplasma was not at all suspected. The “blind” treatment would therefore have been only partial, and therefore not very or temporarily effective.
Finally, an indirect aspect of the problem. For a long time, my friend quoted at the beginning of this article, whose colony produced a few sterile females each year from birth, had noticed that the widowers of these females, in spite of the passage of eggs and the raising of a young, did not hardly any price. When mated to a normal female, they performed much better. I have also noticed it in a few widowers mated, over the seasons, with a female that is too old.
Have any of you noticed the same – or not? Question that deserves to be raised.
Dr. J.P. Stosskopf
All experienced fanciers know that a perfectly normal looking hen may never lay an egg. These are cases that actually happen more than you think and that do not detract from the sporting value of such a female. There are enough examples of females, sterile from birth, who were or who are excellent travelers.
The problem arises when you have to deal with a good, still young female who suddenly no longer lays eggs.
Different factors can be the cause and even for a specialized veterinarian it is not always easy to find the cause or the causes of the problem.
[ Source:Article edited by Dr. J.P. Stosskopf – PIGEON RIT Magazine]
To subscribe to PIGEON RIT Magazine – Click on the button below!