How hens store sperm - weird title but legit question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by purosaviparos, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. purosaviparos

    purosaviparos Out Of The Brooder

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    I have read that female turkeys only need to be mated with once and they store the sperm and use it as a reserve for making all of the rest of the eggs fertile when they come out. (I have never participated in an artificial insemination project with Turkeys but have seen videos and it appear to be a one time wam-bam thank you ma'am type deal.) I have had several turkeys and they usually lay 1 egg every other day or every 3 days sometime, laying span usually lasts about a month, average harvest from each female is about 15 eggs. I have also seen that the male generally only mates with each female once during this process.

    The question I have is: Is this the same for hens? I am inclined to think that it is not so dramatic, the storing of rooster sperm for a month that is. I also have several hens and roosters and usually the activity in the run is a lot higher. I am lead to believe, based on some seperating experiments that i have done (hatching in incubator) with a few pairs of chicken, that their sperm storing period is only a few days.

    Where I live, i participate in a farmer's market kind of deal on Saturday and Sunday, I take chicks, fertile eggs and I like to take a few of my best roosters to demonstrate adulthood for the chicks. Only seperating the male from the females for 2 days, really only being 1.5, i have seen no drop in fertility. I am looking to see if anyone can give me an exact answer as to how long a hen can keep pumping out fertile eggs without the presence of the rooster (after seperating them). Maybe all hens and roosters are not the same but a good explanation to this inquiry would be personally aprecciated as well as fun to share with some of my students. Input?, thanks.
     
  2. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've read that sperm can remain viable within a hen for up to two weeks.
     
  3. purosaviparos

    purosaviparos Out Of The Brooder

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    @countrygoddess interesting, my neighbor is loaning me a rare cross-bred Vietnamese Rooster for a few days while she is gone, I will put him with a few different hens and see for how long afterwards their eggs will be fertile. Where i have just one rooster with 1 or 2 hens, I see him mating with them sometimes everyday, sometimes every couple of days. Would you happen to have a link to any of the information you read?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    It does vary with the hens and roosters. But let me comment about something else first that might be of interest to you.

    It takes about 25 hours for an egg to make it through the hen’s internal laying factory. That egg can only be fertilized in the first 15 minutes of that journey. So if a mating takes place on a Sunday, Sunday’s egg is certainly not fertile. Monday’s egg might be, depending on when it started its journey and when the mating took place. Tuesday’s egg is almost certainly fertile. If it is not, there is something else going on. Notice this is after a successful mating. A rooster does not necessarily mate with every hen in his flock every day.

    You can sort of count on most hens remaining fertile for two weeks after a mating. They are living animals so this part cannot be as precise as the first part. Occasionally a hen may lose fertility after maybe nine days but you can usually count on two weeks. Sometimes a hen will remain fertile for just over three weeks so if you want to clean her up from one rooster so you know her eggs are fertile from the new rooster, you need to wait at least three weeks and four is even more sure.
     
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  5. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here's something I found doing a search just now: http://dreamcrossedtwilight.blogspot.com/2006/02/gallus-domesticus.html
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    How can you tell if you accidentally got a fertilized egg? You know the white spot on the yolk? If "the egg has been fertilized this white spot will soon become red with blood as the embryo starts to develop."

    I took this from the attachment. It is not really correct. It’s frightening with some of the misinformation you find on the internet. I can see why that author would be concerned about getting a fertilized egg if there were any truth to this.

    If the egg is fertilized it will develop a halo often referred to as the bull’s eye around that white spot on the egg. That development stops as soon as the egg is laid. It will not further develop unless it is stored at pretty warm temperatures. It does not have to be stored at true incubation temperatures to develop some. It can develop some if it is kept from the mid 80’s Fahrenheit or warmer. But to say it will soon become red is just plain bogus. Simply store it at reasonably cool temperatures and a fertilized egg will never develop beyond that halo.

    There is some correct information on that site, but if she publishes something like this, I do not consider her a reliable source.
     
  7. wamflock

    wamflock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 28, 2012
    How long do chickens stay fertile?
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Please read post #4 in this thread.
     
  9. nok13

    nok13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    similar question: i have hens, my husband has all the other hens and roos, i want to breed my hens once for some fertile eggs, the mix will be fighitng chicken with leghorn which usually give pretty chickens with a bit more personality, is it better to bring my hens to his roo, cause i cant really bring a roo to here, my neighborhs will have a fit... is there a way to do AI ? or just not worth the bother..? too bad if that is the case cause i have a incubator and now a broody RIR mix ..
     

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