1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

How can I go about doing this?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bryan8, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. bryan8

    bryan8 Songster

    May 21, 2009
    New york
    Well I want to try and hatch some eggs. I have 10 laying red sexlinks. My friend has a br rooster that I could borrow for a few days. How long will he have to be with the hens to have fertile eggs?



  2. ace6175

    ace6175 Songster

    May 9, 2009
    I would like to hear about this also....
  3. koifarm

    koifarm Songster

    Probably a matter of hours....it shouldn't take the roos long to figure out the hens are ready to mate and within a day or two, you should be getting some fertile eggs laid.
    Just to be safe at least four days before you could guarantee fertile eggs.
  4. bryan8

    bryan8 Songster

    May 21, 2009
    New york
    The thing is I really don't want to push my luck by haveing a rooster with my nebors. I was planning on getting it for the day, and then trying to hatch the next days eggs.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    It takes 25 hours for an egg to process through the hen's internal egg-laying factory. The first 15 minutes of that process is when the egg can get fertilized. The rest of the 24 hours 45 minutes, the egg cannot be fertilized.

    Let's walk through it. If the rooster mates with the hen on Monday, Monday's egg will certainly not be fertile. Odds are pretty good that Tuesday's egg has already started through the process and is beyond the 15 minute window for fertilization, so don't count on Tuesday's egg being fertile. It's possible but really doubtful. Wednesday's egg will probably be fertile.

    I've read different opinions, but most agree that a hen will probably stay fertile for 2 weeks after mating. In your situation, I'd use 10 days to be safe. With 10 hens, you should get all the eggs you need to incubate with that 10 day window.

    Notice that this is after mating. Just because a rooster is in a pen with hens does not mean that all are automatically mated. With 10 hens, it is very possible he would not mate with all 10 the first day. It does depend on the age of the rooster and the hens, the vitality of the rooster, and his personality. If the rooster is immature compared to the hens, they may not let him mate with them. He has to be able to establish dominance over them. When you put them together, you should be able to tell within a few minutes if this is a problem. An older rooster will possibly not have the vitality and urge that a younger rooster would have. And some are just more aggresive than others.

    I understand and applaud your wish to not push your luck with your neighbors. It shows responsibility on your part.

    Another thing to consider. If you bring in a rooster from an outside flock, you take the chance of bringing disease or parasites into your flock. With your scenario, you cannot do the 30 days recommended quarantine. How much of a chance depends on how isolated and closed the other flock is. I'm not saying you are guaranteed a problem if you do this, just that you need to recognize there might be a problem.

    Have you considered just getting some fertile eggs from your friend, maybe trade eggs? It would make life a lot simpler for you and reduce the chance of introducing disease or parasites.
  6. I wish I could quote the particular book I read this in but when I got my first pair of chickens over time I took them all out of two libraries.

    In at least one of them I read that when a rooster breeds a hen then the eggs she lays for the next two to three weeks are fertilized by that one mating...that she retains the roosters 'essence' so to speak and doles it out over a period of time.

    I remember this distinctly as I had assumed that one breeding would equal one fertile egg and to get a clutch of fertile eggs the rooster had to be on the job for quite a while.

    Anyone else ever heard this?
  7. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    I have done a little research with my own hens and found that after the rooster was taken away my hens laid fertile eggs for 1 1/2 weeks. After that, they were not fertile anymore. the first week, they were all fertile the 1/2 week it was spotty, not every one was fertile.

  8. I expect to always let the hens do the job of hatching chicks so this summer after I got a pair of OE I collected the eggs for three weeks, then stopped. The roo and the hen were caged together during that time, and for the next few weeks.

    She was not broody but I left the eggs to collect in the nest just to see what happened. When she had seven, she commenced to start sitting on them. It took 12 or 13 days for her to lay those seven and frankly I didn't expect much.

    She stayed on the nest and with perfect timing produced five chicks...two eggs were duds...I gave them a couple extra days then discarded them. The babies are now six and a half weeks old.

    Two look like chipmunks, and three are black with brown coming in. One black one looks like a roo, and the other four look like girls to me but what do I know. Trust me, I don't. I am sure they are all the offspring of that pair. What I think is the little roo is bigger than the other four and developing a comb.

    I followed the advice in that book about keeping that pair separate from my other roo, and just for guarantees...kept them separate until she started actually sitting on the eggs.

    So...to insure that some hen is laying eggs fertile with a particular roo then you also have to keep her isolated for some three weeks...the time the book recommended...before she starts to lay the eggs you want to hatch.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by