Can I keep my Rooster?

Haines

In the Brooder
Sep 15, 2019
4
12
16
Hi all, we acquired 5 chicks back on May 31 (1 Rhode Island Red, 2 Easter Eggers, and 2 Silkies). Turns out 1 of the silkies is a rooster. And naturally he's been one of my favorites so I'd love to keep him. It's fine from a legal standpoint but want to understand what it means for our flock. Brace yourselves for my dumb questions:
1) we were hoping for eggs for eating. Is this still a possibility?
2) not totally opposed to some more chicks but wondering if our silkies rooster will only fertilize the other silkies eggs or would he possibly mate with my other breeds?
3) any way to tell if the eggs are fertilized?
Thank you SO MUCH for your help and/or pointing me to any good resources to read up on this.
 

chrissynemetz

Psalm 91 ❤
Premium Feather Member
Dec 19, 2013
13,844
66,909
1,517
Olathe Colorado
Your questions aren't dumb at all :)
You can ABSOLUTELY eat fertile eggs, and likely wouldn't ever know the difference. I have several roosters, so my eggs are always fertile. :)
The only way to tell if an egg is fertile is to crack it open.

And the little cockerel would probably try to breed any female he could find. The big girls might let him, or they might not, that will be up to them :)
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,384
602
Idaho
Welcome to BYC
1-Your rooster won't lay an egg but the hens will lol
2-As long as he's good to the hens, the bigger breeds may just help him out, squatting if need be lol, just remember the youngster will mature mating wise about 2 months ahead of the girls, and when hormones kick in sometimes they can be real jerks, don't let him harass the hens to bad, have a wire cage or a kennel and keep him in it if he's trying to force himself on the hens. might take a few days for him to settle down but thats ok he's still with them just cannot harass.
3-either cracking em open or putting them in the incubator to see if they hatch.
 

Fishkeeper

Crowing
Oct 30, 2017
2,345
4,930
286
Central Texas
A fertile egg is only a few cells different from a non-fertile egg. Unless a hen incubates it, it won't grow into anything, and you won't notice a difference.
Chickens are all the same species, and can breed with each other. Some will also try to breed with similar-enough birds like ducks. It depends on how much of a horndog the particular one is. He will definitely at least attempt to mate with the others, though size may make things difficult for him and entertaining for you.
You can crack eggs open and examine them closely to find the difference if they're fertilized. Generally you can check a couple of eggs every few days, and if those are all fertile, every egg should be. Size difference and all the fluff may make it a bit more difficult for your roo to fertilize eggs than for other roos, but he'll manage well enough, otherwise silkies wouldn't really exist any more.
 

SurferchickinSB

Crowing
Feb 23, 2018
2,520
3,890
442
California
Hi all, we acquired 5 chicks back on May 31 (1 Rhode Island Red, 2 Easter Eggers, and 2 Silkies). Turns out 1 of the silkies is a rooster. And naturally he's been one of my favorites so I'd love to keep him. It's fine from a legal standpoint but want to understand what it means for our flock. Brace yourselves for my dumb questions:
1) we were hoping for eggs for eating. Is this still a possibility?
2) not totally opposed to some more chicks but wondering if our silkies rooster will only fertilize the other silkies eggs or would he possibly mate with my other breeds?
3) any way to tell if the eggs are fertilized?
Thank you SO MUCH for your help and/or pointing me to any good resources to read up on this.
Most likely he will mate with all of your hens and yes you can eat fertilized eggs. I would just make sure you collect them every day and put them in the refrigerator right away, so they don’t get a chance to grow.It was so horrible when we had a ranch growing up and we had chickens, I guess the eggs did not get collected regularly and when I would go to crack one sometimes there would be a baby chick inside. That put me off eating eggs for a long long time!
 

Haines

In the Brooder
Sep 15, 2019
4
12
16
Your questions aren't dumb at all :)
You can ABSOLUTELY eat fertile eggs, and likely wouldn't ever know the difference. I have several roosters, so my eggs are always fertile. :)
The only way to tell if an egg is fertile is to crack it open.

And the little cockerel would probably try to breed any female he could find. The big girls might let him, or they might not, that will be up to them :)
Thanks so much!!
 

Haines

In the Brooder
Sep 15, 2019
4
12
16
A fertile egg is only a few cells different from a non-fertile egg. Unless a hen incubates it, it won't grow into anything, and you won't notice a difference.
Chickens are all the same species, and can breed with each other. Some will also try to breed with similar-enough birds like ducks. It depends on how much of a horndog the particular one is. He will definitely at least attempt to mate with the others, though size may make things difficult for him and entertaining for you.
You can crack eggs open and examine them closely to find the difference if they're fertilized. Generally you can check a couple of eggs every few days, and if those are all fertile, every egg should be. Size difference and all the fluff may make it a bit more difficult for your roo to fertilize eggs than for other roos, but he'll manage well enough, otherwise silkies wouldn't really exist any more.
Super helpful. Thank you
 

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