keeping your eggs fertile

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Crower, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Crower

    Crower In the Brooder

    Jan 8, 2011
    new jersey
    How often does Mr. Rooster need to visit his hens in order to keep their eggs fertile? Is it better to keep them apart? I have a 1 to 8 ratio .

  2. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Songster

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    I've heard a 1:10 ration will keep them fertile. I have 1:20 and still am able to hatch about 8 chicks if I put in 16 eggs.
  3. bwalden

    bwalden Songster

    Jan 16, 2012
    I have a 1:5 ratio. I figure that is prob. way more than I need but 'm going to be selling hatching eggs and I want to make sure I have no fertility problems. I think 1:8 is a good number. Do you ever attempt to incubate your eggs and see how your fertility looks? There are ways to identify within the egg if it's fertile or not. Of course this would involve cracking the egg open. I dont remember exactly what tp look for but I'm sure you could Google it or find it on BYC.
  4. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    A lot depends on the roo. The hen can store sperm and lay fertile eggs for as much as 3 to 4 weeks, but there are variables; there is no "always" answer. The presence of a roo doesn't even guarantee any eggs will be fertile, in itself. If he's a good roo, not rough on them when mating, doesn't force the issue, etc., they will probably be fine. If you free range, he provides some protection. Some roos help manage hen squabbles. But if he mates with only a few, their feathers will probably get torn, and all your eggs may not be fertile. Some roos even cause cuts on the hens' backs. Sometimes hens seem more content with a roo in the flock, sometimes they seem more peaceful (and may even lay more) without one. Again, lots of factors to consider.
  5. Crower

    Crower In the Brooder

    Jan 8, 2011
    new jersey
    Thanks for the replies.I have 2 roos over 16 hens and i have been getting excellent hatch rates.My main concern has been that the hens are starting to loose back feathers.I decided on building a another small coop for the roosters in order to give hens a break.I dont want a bunch of bear back hens.

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