1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

1st time Breeding Questions. Fertility questions.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ADozenGirlz, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    6,115
    65
    281
    Oct 18, 2009
    Connecticut
    Our second coop was JUST made inhabitable today. [​IMG] No thanks to Mother Nature for her lack of cooperation this winter.
    [​IMG]

    I've been waiting for fertile eggs from my 3 Silver Spangled Hamburg hens, however with only one SSH rooster and 13 or so other hens, he's been a little overextended.
    Here's Simon:
    [​IMG]

    I figured Simon needed to be sequestered with the three Hamburg hens for a while. I can't keep a rooster (much longer) and I've never purposely bred a rooster with hens, so I need to know a few things before we adopt him out

    1. How long should I keep the four of them confined together?
    2. How long after mating do eggs become fertilie?
    3. How long after having last mated with a rooster will a hen's eggs continue to be fertile?
    4. The hens are bantams and the rooster is not, might he not mate with them because they're much smaller than he is?

    I understand there will be ranges of answers. I'm just looking for some ballpark information. Thanks in advance for your reply. [​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,937
    3,094
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    2. How long after mating do eggs become fertilie?

    It takes an egg about 25 hours to go through a hen's internal laying factory. That egg can only be fertilized during the first 15 minutes of that journey. Assume a mating takes place on Monday. Monday's egg is not fertile. It started its journey on Sunday. Tuesday's egg might be fertile. Depends on what time of day the mating took place and when it started its journey. Wednesday's egg will almost certainly be fertile. Notice this is after a mating. A rooster doesn not necessarily mate every hen every day. It just seems that way.

    3. How long after having last mated with a rooster will a hen's eggs continue to be fertile?

    It varies. They are living animals and anything can happen It is possible that a hen will no longer be laying fertile eggs 9 days or so after a mating.. A hen may stay fertile for up to three and a half weeks, but that is pretty rare. Thee is no absolute number to use, bit two weeks is a pretty good number.

    4. The hens are bantams and the rooster is not, might he not mate with them because they're much smaller than he is?

    He will try to mate with them and will probably succeed. The difference in size can make it a little harder for him to hit his target.

    When they mate, a hen squats on the ground and spreads the roosters weight. It is normal for the rooster of a breed to be a fair amount larger than the hen of that breed, often several pounds. Many people keep large fowl roosters with bantams, they mate, and they never have a problem. But with the big difference in weight, there is a risk, and some people have reported a problem. I'm not going to tell you that you will have a problem with this. I'm not going to tell you that you won't have a problem with this. Some people do and some people don't.

    You can tell if the eggs are fertile by looking for the bull's eye. You have to crack an egg to tell if it is fertile, so you can't hatch that specific egg, but if you check several and most are fertile, then you know that the others are probably mostly fertile. This thread shows you what to look for.

    Fertile Egg Photos
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16008&p=6
     
  3. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    6,115
    65
    281
    Oct 18, 2009
    Connecticut
    Thanks Ridgerunner! That was VERY helpful!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by