Egg Fertilization

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by stevearino, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. stevearino

    stevearino Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2012
    Southeast Arizona
    I know that pullets and hens lay less eggs during the winter, but I have noticed that the few eggs I HAVE gotten have not been fertilized, despite having a rooster in the pen with them. Can I assume that roosters don't cover their females in winter?

    I'm starting my timed lights to make the "daytime hours" longer and to stimulate egg laying. Will this cause the roosters to be more active in fertilizing the eggs?
  2. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    I didn't think anything short of locking him up could stop a rooster from making his rounds! Are you positive they aren't fertile? The tiny bullseye isn't easy to spot unless you know what to look for.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    It depends upon the rooster. Generally in my experience it seems that their activity decreases in the winter. If you have ever processed chickens, you may have noticed that the testicle size of roosters decreases in the winter. It appears as if their hormonal system is photosensitive much like that of hens. If this is really the case, I would guess that the artificially increased daylength will impact his breeding activity.
    1 person likes this.
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    This makes sense. In their natural state hens did not lay at all during the colder months, so there was no need for the rooster's services.
  5. stevearino

    stevearino Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2012
    Southeast Arizona
    Yes, that does make sense, and I more or lessed assumed that would be the case. I am just hoping that the increased daylength will produce results in the coming weeks and I can start getting my fertile eggs. I'm itching to try to start hatching my own eggs! I checked the other closely, and aside from a couple of question marks here or there, I am absolutely sure that the majority of the eggs were unfertile. Here's to a good spring/breeding season! :)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by