how can I tell if they're breeding?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ebers, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Ebers

    Ebers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have abot 17 hens & 3 roos. I haven't witnessed any of the roos covering the hens is there a way I can tell without seeing it? I really don't wanna incubate unfertilized eggs can anyone help me?
     
  2. Spangled

    Spangled Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Um. You haven't seen it happening? Since it's winter, I don't spend much time outside. However, I see activity most mornings right after I let them out of the coop. They are in a closed coop (about 10' x 10') with a natural light source. At around 9 a.m. I let them out and that seems to trigger the roosters' "loving feelings," probably because they've got more space. (?) So for the 5-10 minutes that I'm out there, things are happening. Maybe you have a pop-up door that is run by a light sensor or maybe you have a well-fenced run and the chickens can get out as soon as it's light out and so you never see their morning activities??? Maybe keep them closed up until you can let them out in the morning and watch them. I'm grasping at straws, trying to come up with a way for you to see them mating since I suspect they are mating. This is the prime mating period of the year and normal roosters and hens can't help but succumb to nature's promptings.

    Not all cases of minimal feather loss on a hen's head are a sign of breeding, but I get a few with that "tell." Also, some hens lose feathers on the backs right in front of their tails from the attention of roosters. Usually the roosters' favorites have this.

    If your hens aren't laying, then there is a chance they aren't breeding. But if they're laying, then they look good to the roosters because the hens' combs are red (indicating good hormonal balance, usually).

    You can also look at the eggs (when you crack them breakfast) for the germinal disk and the fertilization ring. There are lots of pics on this site showing a fertilized egg versus an unfertilized egg.
     
  3. Ebers

    Ebers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where do I find these pics?
     
  4. Ebers

    Ebers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That was very helpful thank you so much for the help I'm ready now!!!
     
  5. Ebers

    Ebers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I checked an egg today & didn't even see the dot much less the bullseye how long does it take after the egg is laid for the dot or bullseye to be visible?
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    It should be immediate. Sometimes you have to turn the yolks over in a bowl with a spoon until you find the dot...can be tricky, them's slippery!
     
  7. Ebers

    Ebers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm super excited I seen a bullseye today thanks everybody
     
  8. KWoodardRN

    KWoodardRN Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 3, 2014
    Thanks for posting this, I also have a rooster that has just started crowing about 3wks ago now but has been jumping on the hens back for months. Was wondering when I could start to expect to be getting some fertile eggs. He definitly has his "favorite" girl, she follows him everywhere to. Am hoping to be able to let nature do what its suppose to and let hen sit on eggs and hatch that way. Great site with the egg yolk pics.
     

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