Newbee needs answers about fertility

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Jaguar6, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. Jaguar6

    Jaguar6 In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2009
    Hello all,

    I am thinking of getting a rooster to mate with my hens. I have no knowledge what so ever about how this process happens. I have questions.
    Will they mate? (I have 8 hens all of different varieties)
    How do I know they have mated?
    How many times do they have to mate to keep all eggs fertile?

    So that's it.....I tried searching the internet but they don't really answer my questions.


  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    A rooster will mate just about any hen who squats for him, no matter what breed. One successful mating will keep one hen fertile for two weeks or maybe a tad longer. You'll know they've mated when you see it or crack open an egg that has the telltale "bullseye", which is the white spot surrounded by a ring. check out this thread for pictures:
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana

    Will they mate? (I have 8 hens all of different varieties)

    Any breed rooster will breed with any breed of hen. It can be difficult (or comical) in certain circumstances, such as when there is a big difference in size, but they will all attempt it and often be successful. Certain breeds, Orpington and Cochin specifically come to mind, have feathers so thick that you may need to do vent trimming to improve fertility.

    How do I know they have mated?

    The only way to get an idea is to crack and egg and see if you can seethe bullseye. Here's a link that might help.
    Fertile Egg Pictures

    How many times do they have to mate to keep all eggs fertile?

    Once they successfully mate, the hen will remain fertile anywhere from 10 days to three weeks. A rule of thumb is that one rooster will pretty much assure that 10 to 12 hens remain fertile. It depends somewhat on the individual's age and vigor, but you should be OK with one rooster and eight hens. If you crack and egg and see the bullseye, there is a very good chance any other eggs laid by that hen will be fertile.
  4. nivtup

    nivtup Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    Quote:Yes they will mate.

    You will most likely witness the deed. You will also be able to tell fertility by looking for the "bullseye" that is visible on the yoke of a fertile egg when cracked open.

    For the most part, they should be good for a couple of weeks once they are fertile. If they are kept running together, they will remain fertile.

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