Cross breeding question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dncarr09, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. dncarr09

    dncarr09 Chirping

    Mar 17, 2012
    Lenoir City Tennessee
    I have a flock of about 35 chickens. When I hatch out eggs or sell them I want to make sure that they are pure and not cross bred. I have Delawares, Lemon Orps, Lavender Orps and EE'S. I let them all free range together, but when I want to get pure bred eggs I have an area to separate them all by breed. My question is how long would I need to keep them separated to insure that I am not selling or hatching out a cross breed chicken? Can the hen stay fertilized from a mating that took place days ago? Mine are not laying or anything yet, but should start within the next few weeks. They are about 15 weeks old. I am most interested in the Lemon Orps and don't want to keep the Lemon Orps together for a couple of days and the eggs I collect still be fertilized by another rooster. Any advice?[​IMG]
  2. mkcolls

    mkcolls Songster

    Mar 13, 2011
    When researching this question last year, 2 weeks was recommended before collecting eggs for hatching to assure pure breed.

    Just this past week someone posted a mix from a hen that had been separated for the prescribed 2 weeks. Others came on and said that as much as 4 weeks may be needed to assure a pure breed.

    This spring we waited 3+ weeks and got the breeds we wanted.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hens can retain sperm from a mating for 3 weeks and even up to to 4 weeks. To be SURE that the eggs were fertilized by a rooster of your choice, the hens should be away from all other roosters for 4 weeks.
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Agreed, if you want to be 100% certain. Usually, 3 weeks is safe, but there have been very rare instances where the original rooster sired a chick even at the 4 week point.

    I have always waited 3 weeks. I've had fertility run out sooner, but never later than 3 weeks so far.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012

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