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egg fertility

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bkvail, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. bkvail

    bkvail Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm crossing my fingers hoping one of my welsummer hens goes broody, but if they don't, I will be hatching some of the eggs myself. I have a question about fertility though. I have a trio - and the roo keeps the girls next to him at all times. They are free-range - they do have a fenced area that they roost in at night, but they fly out during the day. Anyhow, I have a 2 year old hen and a one year old hen. The 2 year old's eggs have all been fertile so far. The one year old's eggs have NOT been fertile. Also, the one year old's eggs are lighter colored than the two year olds...... if they are lighter now, will they darken later? Or should I just consider only hatching from the 2 year old hen (who is smaller, but has a nicer conformation and the darker eggs). I just wonder why the younger hen's eggs haven't been fertile (not ONE that I've been watching as I use them the last two weeks - while every one of the older hens has been fertile) I probably should just consider hatching the older hen's eggs? I do like the size on the younger hen, but the eggs aren't as pretty. Anyhow.......... opinions?
     
  2. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Welsummer's eggs generally get darker the more they lay. I've been watching mine and they started out light and have been getting darker over the past few weeks. How long has yours been laying? If it's been a while then they might be as dark as they are going to get.

    As far as fertility goes, have you seen the roo mate the younger hen? Maybe the 2 year-old has been his favorite and he isn't doing his job with the other hen.
     
  3. bkvail

    bkvail Chillin' With My Peeps

    she has only been laying about a month.

    No, I haven't actually seen the roo mate with the younger hen - I see him and the older hen though for sure. Do roo's pick favorites like that? Maybe the older hen is just ''easier''? LOL
     
  4. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    If she's only been laying a month, then it is still likely that her egg color will darken some.

    As for the mating issue, roos can and do pick their favorites. The newer layers always seem to be a bit fussy at first to be mated anyways, so he might not be bothering with her just yet.

    Give it a little more time and things will be running the way they should be there. [​IMG]
     
  5. bkvail

    bkvail Chillin' With My Peeps

    maybe I'll just hatch a few of the older hen's eggs then - and wait until next year on the younger hen to decide on her [​IMG] I have people interested in chicks - and I do have two 'bators, so maybe I'll just do two different hatches as the older hen lays [​IMG]
     
  6. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    If the roo came from a dark egg, that would make the pullet chicks' eggs darker. So you could hatch the young hen's as well, provided the roo gets busy!
     
  7. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Quote:That would work, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to throw in some of the younger hens eggs to see if they are fertile. Double checking never hurts! [​IMG]
     
  8. bkvail

    bkvail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:That would work, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to throw in some of the younger hens eggs to see if they are fertile. Double checking never hurts! [​IMG]

    I have been using her eggs for cooking - and none have had any dot of red like the older hens - so I know she's not been fertilized.......would be a waste until I see an egg of hers with the red spot [​IMG]
     
  9. needtohatch

    needtohatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A red dot does not mean it is fertilized. It is the white bullseye on the yoke. Double check them, sometimes you have to take a fork and gently flip the yoke over if it is on the bottom side.
     
  10. bkvail

    bkvail Chillin' With My Peeps

    really? what is the red dot then? I never had the red dot when I didn't have roo's - so I assumed that's what it meant!
     

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