Length of fertilization

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by k625, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. k625

    k625 Songster

    Aug 14, 2007
    I wanted to hatch out a few babies from my hens, but I had to get rid of my rooster yesterday. I still have access to him for future breeding if I wish to, but wanted to know...

    If he left yesterday, and my hens continue to lay for a few days and then sit will the eggs be fertile? How long after he breeds with them do they stay fertile?
  2. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    i have been hearing up to 3 weeks.
  3. DouglasPeeps

    DouglasPeeps Songster

    Feb 26, 2008
    I have heard the same thing.
  4. DTchickens

    DTchickens Crowing

    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    I heard 3 weeks without a Rooster after that. eggs become unfertile. But. If you were to get a new rooster and put him in the pen with them. at 2 weeks. The eggs would start coming from the new one.
  5. Wishapup

    Wishapup Songster

    May 1, 2013
    I know this is an old thread, but I have a similar question: I am trying to do the opposite. I am setting bantam eggs on April 25th. One of my roosters is standard size, thus I will be getting him out of the coop (too many roosters anyway).

    Do I have a chance of getting pure bantam chicks after he has been out of the coop 14 days? The other roosters are all bantams.

    The fertility ranges I have heard are lasting around 12 days to several months...I'm not sure how this is affected with multiple roosters in the pen, some desired and others non-desired (that is being removed).
  6. sepaditty1

    sepaditty1 Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    South Carolina
    I would feel comfortable after 2 weeks. Waiting 3 should be 100% bantam. But that is all just based on what I've read here on BYC. I haven't researched it.
  7. Wishapup

    Wishapup Songster

    May 1, 2013
    Thanks for your response! I think I will go ahead and do 2 weeks since the majority of my incubator will have other breeds anyway. If there is a bantam cross, it won't matter too much in this case.
  8. Shawneegyrl

    Shawneegyrl Songster

    Feb 26, 2013
    Winter Springs, FL
    My Coop
    Another post to an older thread. I just hatched a chick from a clean legged EE hen for the first time. She was in a coop with a feather legged rooster until the middle of October and that rooster went to a new home. She molted and I put her with a true Ameraucana rooster to get some EEs with better blue colored eggs. She started laying again after Thanksgiving and I set eggs 3 weeks ago. The chick has feathered legs!!

    Has anyone ever heard of a hen holding sperm that long? That would have been from October 12 till basically Dec 1 - that would be 7 weeks ?? Strange ?? Possible ??

    My Ameraucana is a proven breeder. The EE hen is a hatchery hen and though mixed, I would not have expected to see feathered legs unless bred to a feathered bird. Have more eggs set - so it will be interesting
  9. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Shawneegyrl, that defies logic and reason. So what’s new with chickens?

    The feather-legged gene is supposed to be partially dominant. That means if you have two feather-legged genes in that gene pair you get the full effect, but if you only have one gene at that gene pair you still see feathered legs, even if they are not as full. So if you cannot see any feathers on the legs of either the hen or the rooster, the chick should be clean legged too. I trust you’ve really looked hard, otherwise you would not have posted.

    You are dealing with living animals. That means strange things can happen. Most hens will stay fertile about two weeks after a mating. There have been cases where some stayed fertile for over three weeks. I’ve never heard of any going longer than four weeks, but maybe it is possible. Who would even bother to incubate the eggs?

    There is something else working against that though. After a mating, the hen shakes to get the sperm into a special container near where the egg yolk starts its journey. A poultry reproduction specialist at the University of Arkansas was pretty adamant that the container operates on a last in – first out basis. The last rooster to mate with a hen has his sperm on top so his sperm will be the first out. Everything points to that Ameraucana rooster being the father, except the feathered legs.

    So that leaves two possible conclusions. You have witnessed something really strange that by the general laws of chickens breeding should not have happened but did. Or that both that hen and that rooster are not the parents. There is another chicken involved somewhere.

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