Frequency of mating to insure egg fertility

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by John-1948, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. How often do the hens have to be mated to insure good fertility ?
    is one mating enough for a dozen eggs ?

    I want to start a run of Rhodebars but don't know how often the hen should be
    put with the rooster .................. or should they be together all the time ??

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I leave them together all the time but I’ll answer you in two different ways.

    It takes about 25 hours for the egg to go through the internal egg factory of a hen. That egg can only be fertilized in the first few minutes of that journey. That means if a mating takes place on a Monday, Monday’s egg will not be fertile. That egg had its window of opportunity Sunday before the mating. Tuesday’s egg might or might not be fertile. It depends on what time of day the mating took place and the egg started its journey on Monday. Wednesday’s egg will almost certainly be fertile.

    Note that this is after a successful mating. A rooster does not necessarily mate with every hen in his flock every day.

    After a mating the hen stands up, fluffs up her feathers, and shakes. This fluffy shake is her way to get the sperm into a special container right at where the egg starts its journey. Convenient for fertilization, huh?

    That sperm can stay viable for many days. That can vary some depending on the hen and the rooster but most of the time we count on 14 days. It’s possible the sperm can stay viable for over three weeks, but that is fairly rare. It’s best to count on no more than 14 days.

    Hope this helps you plan your management strategy.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Some folks run their rooster with a group of hens all the time.

    Others use what are called breeding pens. Whether one puts one, two or three select hens in with a rooster, I give it three days to a week. I know I can then collect fertile eggs for 10 days. I can rotate in another rooster if I want another mating and desire a different result. I can also rest the cock birds this way. With some time in and some time out, fertility seems better as the cock bird has more initiative.

    A mated hen is typically fertile for 14-18 days after mating, but when you are breeding, the time of collecting eggs is shorter to insure a higher rate. Once breeding season is over in late spring, we pull the cock birds and allow the hens the summer to rest and recoup. In fall, the older birds will moult. Once New Years comes, the process starts again.
  4. wow .... very informative indeed !!
    yes, it all makes sense now ......
    now, I can manage the laying process in a more productive way

    THANK YOU all !!!!!!!!!!!!

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