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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by okiemamachick, Feb 1, 2015.
How long after a rooster is added to a Flock of hens does it take for the eggs to be fertile?
Adding the rooster does not mean anything unless he is active. (if you know what I mean.) The hens will start to have bare necks, then you know he is active.
I've seen him mount one hen for sure and he looked successful lol! I will keep looking then. So my hens will be missing feathers? Huh I don't know if I like that lol
Roos don't have arms, ...... they need to hold on best they can. When I buy adult chickens at the swap meet or from the butcher, and they have bare necks, I buy them knowing I'm saving them. LOL Their feathers grow back in no time. Have no roosters and don;t want. I gather you want fertile eggs so you can have chicks. BEST WISHES TO YOU. LIFE GOES ON. ALL WILL BE WELL.
I have 3 roosters, and my hens have all of their feathers. So, if you've seen him doing the deed, then give the eggs a week or two and you'll be in business
Thanks cavemen rich! He seems to be as delicate as possible lol while still "getting the job done" haha I never thought the sex lives of my chickens would consume so much of my time and energy
Howfunkyisyourchicken that's good to hear!
Chickens will usually only lose feathers from mating if they are being over mated.... ie there are not enough hens to keep the cockerel from giving one hen too much attention or the cockerel has a particular favourite or he is exceptionally rough, perhaps if he is unable to balance properly during mating.
My broody hatched 14/14 of her own eggs last year and didn't have a feather out of place. In fact none of my hens had any sign of feather loss until they started to moult in the autumn and I had 97% fertility of the eggs I brooded last summer.
If you want to check to see if your rooster is being successful, crack one or two open in a dish and look for the bulls eye on the yolk..... there is a post which has photos of fertile and not fertile eggs cracked open, so you can see what to look for. If you do a search you should find it or perhaps someone will be kind enough to post a link... I'm not technically capable when it comes to posting links I'm afraid.
The featherless hens at the butchers are most likely production birds that are in moult and are discarded as it is no longer cost effective to keep them once they reach that stage of their lives. It is standard practise in the egg production industry to do this although the birds would continue to lay for many years after, but not quite at the rate of their previous 12 months and profit margins are tight. Also many ex battery hens pluck their own feathers out from sheer boredom of being caged 24/7 with nothing to do but eat and lay and sleep.
I have had roosters who scarcely disturbed a feather, and I had one, whom all the hens were barebacked, and they adored him. It is a bit of technique, some are better lovers than others, and bare backs bother people more than hens.
If you want to know about fertilized eggs, every time you cook one, check and see if it is fertilized. Keep a tally, then you know.
Crack a few and look at the blastoderm.
There are a bunch of examples in this thread: