Do you need to separate roosters from the flock??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ogdenfarms22, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. Ogdenfarms22

    Ogdenfarms22 Songster

    Feb 4, 2017
    I am new to chickens and someone mentioned if you have a rooster with your hens you cant eat the eggs? I have never heard of this!!
    So will I need to separate out any roosters once I can tell what they are?!

  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! My cockerels and cocks are integrated into my flock at all times, no problem. Mary
    1 person likes this.
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    If you mean that you have been told that you should not eat fertile eggs, then you have been misled. There is absolutely no issue with eating fertile eggs.
    2 people like this.
  4. Ogdenfarms22

    Ogdenfarms22 Songster

    Feb 4, 2017
    Okay, I didnt think that them being in affected the eggs unless you let them hatch of course!
  5. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It still makes my head explode hearing the stupid things people come up with. The person who misinformed you was probably referring to fertilized eggs being unfit for consumption which is an erroneous folk tale. Bizarre tales of people cracking an egg into a hot skillet and having a partially developed chick embryo fall into the hot grease are untrue and defy common sense but don't stop people from believing them. Also, people spread these untruths out of ignorance and squeamishness at the notion of a fertilized egg somehow being the same as a chick, and they feel they are committing "chick-a-cide" by eating the egg.

    The human brain, in its flaccid state, is a truly frightening weapon.

    In reality, there is no difference in taste and quality between a fertilized egg and one that comes from a hen where there are no roosters present.
    4 people like this.
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Best quote of the year thus I've heard in many years, in fact!!!!! [​IMG] Hope you don't mind if I share that one now and again, quoted, of course. [​IMG]
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    Thank you for coming here to get the true story. It really is amazing how folks mis understand bird's reproduction.

    It is kind of ironic, though, that other folks will swear blind your hens won't lay unless you have a rooster [​IMG]

    Hens ovulate and form eggs regardless of the presence of a rooster. If a rooster is present, chances are your eggs are fertile. When he mates with a hen, she stores the sperm internally and the eggs are fertilized as the egg is made. One mating can give her enough sperm to fertilize a good 2 week's worth of eggs.

    It takes quite the practiced eye to tell if an egg is fertile. If you do a search here, you'll see multiple threads about "Is this egg fertile"'s hard to tell a lot of the time, even when we're looking for it.

    With a fertile eggs, development of the embryo doesn't start until it's been incubated at about 100 degrees for 3 days. So, as long as you collect your eggs every day or so, you'll be fine.

    I've kept roosters with my layers all my life. Except a memorable time when i was sick and the kiddos were caring for my flock and missed a broody, I've never once had a nasty surprise when I cracked an egg.

    Now, having your own backyard birds, you're likely to get blood or meat spots, and those freak folks out, thinking they're baby chicks. They're not, they're simply glitches in the hen's reproductive system. In commercial eggs, those are candled and pulled from the shelves, so consumers never see them. Folks don't realize how common they can be, especially with new layers.
    3 people like this.

  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
  9. There are two schools of thought on eating fertile eggs.

    The first school is the Vegan school who maintains that you are killing baby chicks with every fertile egg that you fry.

    Then there is the health food nuts who claim that only fertile eggs have all the vitamins needed for good health.

    But please don't tell your rooster this, he will be wanting a raise in salary for something that he currently does for fun.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana

    Sorry Rachel, I disagree with the 3 day statement. If you go to the Learning Center and look under candling, you’ll get this. As you can see, veining is visible by day 2 of incubation (if you are really good at candling and have white eggs or you crack the egg). You can get heartbeat by day 3, they’ve developed that much.

    I totally agree with everybody. There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating fertilized eggs. If they have not been incubated nothing will develop. If you collect the eggs every day, even if they have spent all day under a broody hen, you will not see any development. Just collect the eggs every day after the other hens have finished laying. Don’t skip a day collecting them.

    I always suggest you crack your eggs in a separate bowl before you add them to anything, even scrambled eggs. As Rachel said you can find blood spots, meat spots, or other things in there. The commercial operations candle the eggs and sell those eggs to bakeries or other places that use cracked eggs for a reduced price. There is nothing wrong with them from a safety aspect but they can be unappetizing.

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