fertile eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by gailstpierre, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. gailstpierre

    gailstpierre Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2015
    I have just been given a rooster. I have eleven hens and sell their eggs. I have to contend now with the possibility of fertile eggs. My chickens are all free range so they mingle freely but I have not yet let the rooster out of his run. I wouldn't mind if a hen decides to hatch her eggs and have one who seems particularly broody. When should I take the eggs out of the nest to candle them and still have then salable if the are not fertile? Should I just leave them with her if they turn out to be fertile? I am not intending to breed chickens but if she wants to be a mother I have no objections. Thank you for any answers you may have.
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Fertile eggs will not develop into chicks unless they are incubated. Remove eggs daily, and they will be safe to sell. If a hen goes broody, give her as many eggs you want her to incubate. They do not have to be her eggs. A hen will incubate any eggs if she is broody.
    2 people like this.
  3. gailstpierre

    gailstpierre Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2015
    Thank you. That was very helpfulness
  4. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2013
    it could also take awhile before you start getting fertile eggs
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Sour got it right. But I’ll give you a bit more info.

    It takes about 25 hours, give or take, for an egg to go through a hen’s internal egg making factory. That means if a mating takes place on a Friday, Friday’s egg will not be fertile. Saturday’s egg might be, depending on timing, but I don’t count on it. Sunday’s egg will be fertile. But note that this is after a mating. A rooster does not mate with every hen in the flock every day. Not with 11 hens.

    But he doesn’t have to. The last part of the mating ritual is that the hen stands up and shales. This shake gets the sperm into a special container where it can possibly remain viable for more than three weeks. Most of us just count on the eggs being fertile for two weeks after a mating, however.

    As Sour said, if they are not incubated they will not develop. As long as you collect the eggs once a day and store them where it is not hot, they will not develop.

    If you do want to hatch eggs, collect all you want her to have and put them under her at the same time. That is important so they all hatch together. There are a lot of different ways you can go about having a hen hatch eggs once she goes broody. I mark the eggs I want her to hatch with a Sharpie and let her hatch them in a regular nest with the flock. I check under her once a day after the others have laid and remove any that don’t belong. These are fine to use as long as you remove them every day. I let her raise them with the flock too.

    Others isolate the hen which she is incubating the eggs and and/or raising the chicks. There are all kinds of variations on these two. There is not just one right way where all others are wrong, it’s just how you choose to go about it.

    Good luck!

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