Forgive my ignorance, but . . .

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChickenLittle, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. ChickenLittle

    ChickenLittle Hatching

    Mar 25, 2007
    I have four chickens and a rooster - with eight chicks only a week old. The new chicks are from a hen I acquired about six weeks ago. When speaking with the person who takes care of the chickens, he claims the new chicks are from a rooster different than the one I have - the chicken was inseminated by a rooster prior to my purchase of the hen. I am doubtful but am ignorant about the time between insemination and laying that an egg can remain fertile. Simply put, is it possible that a chicken can be fertilized by a rooster and then three or more weeks later those fertile eggs can be laid?

    Thanks for any feedback.
  2. Marion

    Marion Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    How long do hens produce fertile eggs after being separated from the rooster?

    If the rooster in a flock dies or is removed, the hens continue to produce fertile eggs for up to four weeks, depending on bird species. This is because there are "sperm nest" areas located in the oviduct of hens that collect and store semen for later fertilization of eggs. This is a natural survival mechanism for the production of a series of fertile hatching eggs even after the male is not available.
    The period of time that fertile eggs are produced without additional matings can extend to several weeks. If a rooster is removed from the flock and replaced by another, it may require three weeks before it can be assured that all eggs will produce chicks sired by the new rooster. The proportion of chicks sired by the new rooster increases during this period but some chicks sired by the old rooster may hatch. Birds like turkeys and waterfowl have longer periods during which fertile eggs can be produced without matings.

    From: Mississippi State University Extention Service FAQ section.
  3. ChickenLittle

    ChickenLittle Hatching

    Mar 25, 2007
    I feel slightly less ignorant - thanks for the education.
  4. cookinmom

    cookinmom Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    That is amazing! I would have never imagined such a thing.
  5. EurekaSouth

    EurekaSouth Chirping

    Yes. Thank you for the interesting info. I had no idea!
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    That's pretty interesting, four times longer than humans!

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