How long until my eggs aren't fertile?


Jul 13, 2016
Okay, so let me just start off by saying that I am soooo excited to be apart of the BYC. I bought my first flock of hens the last week of February & they were only a couple days old. I had so many questions, & little do y'all know, but you helped answer all of them! & i Wasn't even a member yet! So thankful for y'all. For real.

But now I have a question that I can seem to find the answer to. So the last week of February me & my Boyfriend were walking through tractor supply & i Stopped to watch the chicks. I saw this little runt that was getting pushed around. Broke my heart. So what does any sane person do? Buy 6 chickens just to rescue the runt.
So here I am trying to figure out everything I can about these animals (all the credit goes to you folks) & i Now have 5 very healthy and gorgeous chickens. (Lost one to a coon
Very sad day) well, getting the chicks with no research I bought the bantams. Ended up with 5 roosters & 1 hen. About a month ago (end of June) I went to feed & water My chickens & i Noticed the roosters would not leave my hen alone. So I made the decision to separate them. Well luck have it, 4 days ago, July 10th, I got my very first egg!!! (Is it weird that she's laying so early? Everything. I've read says it takes like 18 weeks & she's only 16 weeks) but anyways, how long does it take for her to not lay fertile eggs anymore? I guess a better way of putting it, How long does it take (in a hens anatomy) to produce her first egg? Since I separated them about two weeks ago, do you think her eggs are fertile? Or there's no way they're fertile? Also, I am getting one EVERY day for the last 4 days. I thought they only lay one like every couple of days?

I'm still new to this, & let Me tell you, around here I'm known as the crazy chicken lady. Almost shed a tear when I opened the box to clean it & found My Henny's first egg. I love my chickens & i Just want to make sure I'm taking the best care of them. Also, I'm taking the eggs out of the box & putting them straight in the fridge. Is that the right thing to do?

As you can see I have a lot of questions. Any answers are greatly appreciated!! Thank you in advance!! :)
I believe a hen's eggs will remain fertile for about 3 weeks or so, after consorting with a rooster. However, if you pick up the eggs daily, they will not develop any chick inside.
Hi and welcome to BYC - you have some great advice already so I'll just say hello!

All the best
Welcome to BYC! It's great to have you.

In my experience it takes 4 weeks for hens to become infertile after being mated by a cockerel. The 3 week mark was when mine started becoming infertile, but it's wasn't until 4 weeks that all of them were.
Also, want to add, eggs do not spontaneously begin to develop. Until a fertile egg is incubated (kept at a constant 100* for several days), you can treat it just the same as an infertile egg. Mine sit on the counter until they are eaten.
Thanks for welcoming me everyone! Very excited to join BYC myself. & thanks so much for all the advice!! Couple more questions to your responses. 1. How can you tell if they're fertile or infertile? & 2. I've noticed that my hens eggs are getting smaller each day. Should I be worried??
#1. The way you can tell an egg is fertile or not is by looking at the blastoderm. In an infertile egg, it looks like a small white spot on the yolk. In an fertile egg, it looks like a white 'bullseye'.
This is an example of a fertile egg. No, that bit of blood is not a sign of development. This egg was laid just minutes before I cracked it open. If it was developing, the blastoderm would be all red and veiny.

#2. New layers are still working out all the kinks in their egg production system. That can take some time. After a few weeks, things should begin to become more regular and consistent.

These eggs were all laid by the same pullet within the past week. The two largest are probably double yolk eggs (very normal for new layers). The smallest is probably a 'wind' egg, not containing any yolk. The other is a 'normal' sized pullet egg.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom