Do I assume all of my eggs are fertile?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ILikeBirds, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. ILikeBirds

    ILikeBirds In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2014
    SW Washington
    I have six hens to one rooster, is it safe to assume all of my eggs are fertile and ready for the incubator?
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  2. dstinett

    dstinett Songster

    Mar 21, 2014
    Jefferson, TX
    Not 100% but that is a good hen/cock ratio. How old are they? If established layers and mature cock then most should be fertile
  3. No. Have you observed he rooster mating with all the females? Even then there is no guarantee that the hens will be laying fertilized eggs. I have read that after mating the hens will produce fertilized eggs for five day however. In any event you would have a 50/50 chance of having fertilized eggs. My roosters mate with all my hens and I though I would try incubating some. After a couple of weeks I candled the eggs and there was no development in any of them. So, you are taking your chance and it may pay off with chicks. Just don't be too disappointed if it does not.
  4. ILikeBirds

    ILikeBirds In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2014
    SW Washington
    I guess I should have clarified, they are still only about nine weeks old so this question was for future reference.

    But this leads me to another question, when someone buys hatching eggs, how does the seller guarantee a good portion of the eggs will be fertile? Are they using different methods rather than letting nature take it's course?
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    That really depends on the seller - some will sell them as hatching eggs just by virtue of having a rooster in the flock, others will sell them out of "breeding pens" where they have a particular number of hens to roo ratio to give the best chance that he is covering the females reliably rather than a flock with so many hens that chances are not everyone is receiving attention on a regular basis/he is spread a bit too thin, still others will even go so far as to have cracked test eggs periodically to see if those eggs are fertile which would indicate other eggs from that pen/flock are also likely to be fertile or will sell them out of pens/flocks that they have successfully incubated the eggs from.
  6. I would never assume that any egg, no matter where from or what guarantee, had more than a 50/50 chance of being fertile. Even Murray McMurray says "Because of conditions beyond our control during incubation, we are unable to guarantee hatchability. However, all the eggs we ship will be fresh and guaranteed to get to you in good condition." They seem to indicate that there eggs are all fertile but your method of incubation might mess thing up and nothing would hatch. So, no guarantee of fertility.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    A seller might guarantee fertility, and condition upon receipt because of packaging prowess, but they wouldn't(or shouldn't) guarantee hatchability....too many variables.

    I don't sell hatching eggs but check almost every egg I open to eat just out of curiosity and because I've done some hatching myself.
    In case you don't to tell if an egg is fertile.

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