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How long after rooster is gone will eggs be fertile?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Just wondering what others' experiences have been with egg fertility after the rooster is no longer in the breeding pen. I have a young hen that's been away from the roo for twelve days. I keep plopping her eggs in my 'bator, and the eggs she's laid up until three days ago appear to be fertile. Can't tell about yesterday's or today's eggs yet, obviously.

 

I have always been under the impression that a hen can "store" the rooster's...um, essence...for three to five days. Anyone have any input on how long a hen might continue producing fertile eggs after the rooster has been removed from the picture?

 

Thanks!

Hurricane Silkies

Raising white Silkies and Tolbunt Polish in NC.

http://hurricanesilkies.yolasite.com/

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Hurricane Silkies

Raising white Silkies and Tolbunt Polish in NC.

http://hurricanesilkies.yolasite.com/

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post #2 of 8

2 weeks - high fertility

 

3 weeks - some fertility

 

4 weeks - occasional fertility

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post #3 of 8

I've seen posted here on BYC up to three weeks.  When you remove specific birds for breeding from the other roosters you have to wait 3 weeks to be sure they're pure. 

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post #4 of 8

Definitely a week. 

I became interested in hatching and raising chickens during a developmental genetics class where we manipulated the genetic code of chicken embryos. One year later, I have many chickens, mostly Ameraucanas and Silkies.

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I became interested in hatching and raising chickens during a developmental genetics class where we manipulated the genetic code of chicken embryos. One year later, I have many chickens, mostly Ameraucanas and Silkies.

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post #5 of 8

I've had some hatch at almost week 4. That roo was a spunky little guy.

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post #6 of 8
i read that a hen can keep a rooster's sperm for up to 14 days.
after that. the eggs' fertility decreases.

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post #7 of 8

Decreases, but they can lay a fertile egg much longer.

Learn About The Egg Train!   Egg Train State Coordinators  Join The Egg Train
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post #8 of 8

~Time hens continue to produce fertile eggs. If the rooster in a flock dies, or is removed, the hens will continue to produce fertile eggs for up to four weeks, depending on bird species. This is because there are "sperm nest" areas located in the oviduct of hens that collect and store semen for later fertilization of eggs. This is a natural survival mechanism for the production of a series of fertile hatching eggs even after the male is not available. The period of time that fertile eggs can be produced without additional matings can extend to several weeks. If a rooster is removed from the flock and replaced by another, it may require 3 weeks before it can be assured that all eggs will produce chicks sired by the new rooster. The proportion of chicks sired by the new rooster will increase during this period, but some chicks sired by the old rooster may hatch. Birds like turkeys and waterfowl have longer periods during which fertile eggs can be produced without matings.

StewTheRoo
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