Can my rooster still fertilize my hens even if they haven't started laying yet?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by sean du Bois, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. sean du Bois

    sean du Bois New Egg

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    Sep 11, 2012
    So here's the thing... I have 8 hens (mostly Ameraucana) and 1 rooster (Ameraucana) which i incubated myself and are all almost 5 months old now. The rooster seems to be having his way with all the hens, however, the hens haven't started laying yet and i may need to get rid of my rooster very soon because of noise issues. Since my chickens have a pretty good blood line, i was hoping on having some "pure breed" and fertile eggs before i get rid of my handsome guy. Since they are so close to laying, is there any chance i could still get fertile eggs from them even before they actually begin laying? Or does laying already need to be initiated? Thank you in advance!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Hens are able to retain sperm from mating up to as long as 4 weeks. The first two weeks fertility will be high, third week - reduced fertility, fourth week some/occasional fertility. So, basically, you have about three weeks after the rooster leaves that any eggs that are laid should be fertile. Problem is that those eggs will be 'pullet' eggs which can present problems in hatching. If he would be mine, I would try to keep him in the flock as long as was possible.
     
  3. sean du Bois

    sean du Bois New Egg

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    Sep 11, 2012
    Yeah, i was worried about the "pullet eggs". Any idea how long it takes a hen to start laying fully developed and viable eggs worthy of hatching? I live in Coastal Northern California so im not sure if or how frequent they will be laying in the following months, however, we do have a thing called an "indian summer" where it basically gets a bit sunnier in the fall. Hopefully i won't need wait til next year. I got lucky today and found an old pet crate on the sidewalk. He cannot stretch out to crow when he's inside, so i guess this can suffice as a "crow-free" cage til i construct something a little less jail-like.
    Thanks for your help!
     

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