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fertile egg question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kelck22, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. kelck22

    kelck22 Chirping

    Oct 15, 2013
    mukilteo, wa
    I replaced my old roo with a new one. How long do I have to wait to make sure the fertile eggs are from the new boy not the old?

  2. aquanautscott

    aquanautscott Hatching

    Oct 22, 2012
    I think it really depends on the roo. I would just try and observe behavior and see how he warms up the the hens. If you see him mounting a hen or two I would say your golden. In my experience it takes the hens some getting used to the new rooster so when he mounts them it tends to be a little rough at the beginning until they get used to him. Lots of squawking and struggling and such.

    Best of Luck,
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    A couple of things to help clear it up, then something to totally confuse it. Isn’t it normally that way with chickens?

    An egg takes about 25 hours to go through a hen’s internal egg factory. It can only be fertilized in the first few minutes of that journey. That means if a mating took place on a Sunday, Sunday’s egg is not fertile. Monday’s egg might or might not be fertile. It depends on what time the mating took place and what time the egg started its journey. Tuesday’s egg is almost certainly fertile. Of course, that is after a successful mating. A rooster does not necessarily mate with every hen in his flock every day.

    When a mating occurs, the hen stands up, fluffs up, and shakes. That shake is to get the sperm into a special container near where the egg starts its journey. The sperm from that mating normally remains viable for two weeks. It can remain viable for over three weeks, but that’s fairly unusual. However, if you want to be absolutely certain, you need to wait more than three weeks.

    That’s the easy part. Now let’s get confusing. That special container that holds the sperm operates on a last in-first out basis. That means the last rooster to mate with a hen is almost certain to be the father of the chick. It’s not a 100% absolute certainty but it is highly likely he will be the daddy.

    How sure do you have to be? If “pretty sure” is good enough, go ahead and incubate the eggs. If you have to be without a possibility of a doubt, wait about three or more weeks.
  4. kelck22

    kelck22 Chirping

    Oct 15, 2013
    mukilteo, wa

    Sound like I will wait three weeks. The old roo was an olive egger mutt and I replaced him with a pure black copper maran.

    My only olive egger hen right now has wry tail (so cant breed her) so I was hoping to get some new olive eggers that will be ready for breeding next spring.

    When I say old roo , he is a young cockerel that until a few days ago I thought was a pullet. Noticed the pointed hackle feathers when I got close. He is old enough to breed though I believe. I have never seen him mount any of the hens. I just don't want random chicks coming out just in case.

    My black copper rooster is definitely mating with the hens. His favorite are an easter egger and a barred rock ;)

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