After a year, one of my hens is crowing... & fertile eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by NapsWithChickens, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. NapsWithChickens

    NapsWithChickens ZZZZzzzzz....

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    Ignorant question time:

    I have raised a bunch of pullets since they were day old from the hatchery a year ago. No cockerels - no crowing, no obvious plumage/body shape differences and I am pretty sure that they are all laying. This week, one of them crowed several times during the day (not sure which one)... not at night, not at dawn... and I thought to myself that perhaps a hen was being dominant or something... because it wouldn't be possible that I have a roo.

    Then I wondered...

    ... and the next time I cracked an egg, I saw a red spot in the egg yolk/white. I haven't had that before... is that evidence of a fertilized egg?

    If it is... how come my roo has been masquerading as a hen this whole time... why doesn't it crow... what the heck is going on???

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    I wouldn't count your chickens before they hatch.

    Many times a hen at the top of the pecking order will become dominant and will actually try to crow and even mount the other hens.

    If you could post a pic of the offender, there will be someone here who can tell you if you've got an honest to goodness roo.

    Blood in an egg doesn't mean you've got a fertilized egg.
     
  3. NapsWithChickens

    NapsWithChickens ZZZZzzzzz....

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    Mahonri,
    Hmph... I'm not sure which crowed... which stinks, because I don't want to get in trouble with the neighbors.

    You're sure that the blood spot has nothing to do with egg fertility?
     
  4. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    I grew up with chickens. We had coops with and without roosters. Eggs with blood would be found in both coops from time to time.

    On the blue line up top you can hit the "Search" word, then type in "How to tell if an egg is fertile"

    You'll get a ton of responses and you'll find pics of eggs that are actually fertile and how to tell.

    Good luck.
     
  5. NapsWithChickens

    NapsWithChickens ZZZZzzzzz....

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    Thank you! [​IMG]
     
  6. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Yup. In a coop without a roo, a dominant hen will occasionally start to crow. We had one in our layer pen that crowed, but not very well compared to a real roo. She also stopped laying eggs and her comb was a little bigger than the other hens, but she never developed hackle or saddle feathers.

    The blood spot is just something that just happens sometimes in the oviduct as the egg is formed. You don't usually see it in commercial eggs because they candle the eggs and remove any eggs with imperfections. It has nothing to do with fertility and doesn't spoil the egg. If the spot is tiny, I ignore it. Larger blood spots I remove before cooking. Rarely, an egg will have a very large quantity of blood in it and those I discard.

    Fertility is determined by looking at the blastoderm, a small white spot on the surface of the yolk. This can only be done by cracking open the egg, not by candling. A fertilized egg will have an expanded ring around the blastoderm spot.


    chel

    ETA Here is a link to some information about females birds developing male characteristics :

    http://feathersite.com/Poultry/CGP/Sex-links/BRKFeathSex.html
     
  7. NapsWithChickens

    NapsWithChickens ZZZZzzzzz....

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    Thanks, Chel!!! Very helpful!
     

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