Got a roo last week. How long will it take to get fertile eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ChickLover98, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. ChickLover98

    ChickLover98 The Chicken Princess

    Apr 24, 2010
    I just got a 1yr. 3mon. old RIR roo and put him in with my 4 mon. old hens five days ago. Only one of my hens is laying so far, but she does not sit on them yet. How long will it take for us to get fertile eggs that she will sit on and hatch?

    [​IMG] Please help!!!!!!

    I'm new to breeding chickens, so any help will be great!!!! [​IMG]

    BTW, if anyone knows if the chicks will turn out RIR, Amber Link or a mutt breed, please let me know!
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Your question is a lot more complicated than you think. Fertile eggs and roosters have nothing to do with a hen going broody. A hen goes broody when the hormones tell her to. Having a rooster around does not affect the hormones. Either she will go broody or she will not. And she will brood on an empty nest, unfertile eggs, plastic eggs, rocks, or her imagination. Whether eggs are fertile or not has nothing to do with it.

    The eggs are usually fertile 2 days after a mating. They might be fertile one day after a mating but probably not.

    The other problem is that you should not try to hatch a hen's first eggs. They are too small. The embryo growing inside that little egg usually cannot find enough nutrients in that small egg to properly develop. If it does manage to actually grow to hatching size, it is usually too big to position itself inside the egg to hatch. Sometimes pullet eggs hatch, but it is really best to let the pullet get older so her eggs get larger before you try to hatch them.
  3. Xanthro

    Xanthro In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2010
    Quote:This was a great response.
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    What Ridgerunner said.

    You could have 50 hens and not one might ever go broody. Or you could have 3 and all three might go broody at some point. It's mostly bred OUT of chickens these days, because it interferes with egg production. Chicken eggs take 21 days to hatch, and the hen will not lay any more eggs once she has the clutch of eggs she wants to hatch. WHETHER OR NOT THEY'RE FERTILIZED. Some broody hens try to hatch wooden eggs, or golf balls, or nothing at all.

    But if a hen is sitting on fertilized eggs, and she's broody, she will stay there for the entire time incubating them, except for one or two potty breaks a day. She might not even grab anything to eat, unless it's close by to her nest. For the full 3 weeks, no egg production. Then she takes another 4 to 6 weeks off laying to raise the chicks. So, most breeds of layers have very little broodiness in them. Certain breeds are more likely to go broody than others, and some very rarely go broody. Amber links are examples of the latter; they're hybrids bred for laying, not hatching.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  5. ChickLover98

    ChickLover98 The Chicken Princess

    Apr 24, 2010
    Thanks for your great answers!! One problem... How do i know if they have mated? I dont know if i should expect my hen to want to guard the eggs. My roo stands in front of the box while she lays and "protects" her. Is that normal? Also, he goes into the boxes and makes "nests" for the hens. Is that normal? I'm stumped. [​IMG] Any answers for my other question yet? Again, I'm new to breeding.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Both of those behaviors are perfectly normal for roosters. It's pretty cute to see a big o' roo stuff himself into a nest box, turn around, move straw/pine shavings from here to there, sometimes even tossing some on his back, just to prove to his ladies the nest box is a good place to lay her eggs. He probably even makes an encouraging, almost purring sound, right???

    As to the chicken sex act itself.... well, it lasts a mere few seconds. There is no penetration at all, as the rooster doesn't have .. parts... for that. He merely touches his vent (cloaca) to the hen's, and the bodily fluid exchange is complete.

    Normally, a gentleman rooster will court his ladies, with a little dip of a wing and a circle dance. She then submits by squatting and he then covers her, using his beak to hold feathers on the back of her neck or head, treads her back, and bends his tailfeathers down and to the side so he can complete the act. Then he gets off, she gets up and fluffs her feathers and they go off to do other chicken-y things.
  7. ChickLover98

    ChickLover98 The Chicken Princess

    Apr 24, 2010
    Thanks so much! Eggcellent replies, everyone! Thank you! Yay! Keep on posting! The more help, the merrier! [​IMG]
  8. sunflowerenvy

    sunflowerenvy Songster

    Apr 4, 2010
    south/west tn
    what a good education thank u
  9. AZKat

    AZKat Songster

    Apr 7, 2009
    This eggcellent post by speckledhen shows how to tell the difference between a fertile and an infertile egg.
    If you know what to look for, its really pretty easy to tell the difference. Whenever you use an egg, just take a quick look. Or, you can do what I like to call the Tapioca Fertility Test.[​IMG]

    Take all of the eggs that you've collected over a 2 day period, trying to make sure you've got one from each hen.

    Crack them open, and check each one for the bullseye

    Make tapioca pudding.
  10. DANNY

    DANNY Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
    Something you should always consider is that some chickens are bred to produce eggs and not go broody like leghorns. RIR and orphingtons. But there is always exceptions in any of them.

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