Oops I have a rooster questions

katherine1

Hatching
Nov 27, 2015
6
0
9
We have been causal keepers of 7 pet hensfor years. About 5 months ago we decided to kick it up a notch and ordered 30 new hens, variety of breeds. Recently, one suspect hen has begun crowing! We will happily keep the rooster on board but I'm hoping someone can clarify what this means for egg production. Questions I have include when can the rooster fertilize eggs? Do they just do that? ... As in if we do not intervene are we likely to end up with fertile eggs or do they require encouragement to breed? He is an Americauna... Are my other hens (barred rocks, Wyandottes, Rhode Island Reds, etc) able to be bred by this rooster, or do they stick to their own? If an egg should become fertile, do the hens "know"? Does it affect eatability? If we do nothing will we wake up to chicks one day or would we need to bring the eggs in and incubate them to see them through? Sorry for the tremendous amount of ignorant questions- just swimming with uncertainties and want to be as prepared as possible to be a rooster momma as he starts to come into his own. Appreciate any assistance or advice :)
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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Jul 16, 2015
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Your rooster will start mating when he becomes sexually mature, around 5-7 months, more than likely he will develop a few favorites and ignore the rest, especially your older hens. The eggs are edible, the egg does not start developing until it is incubated. A hen needs to go broody, a hormonal state, in order for her to want to hatch any eggs. In a lot of breeds the broodiness has been bred out. You can incubate fertilized eggs if you wish or keep right on eating them.
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
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Jan 30, 2015
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Your rooster will start mating when he becomes sexually mature, around 5-7 months, more than likely he will develop a few favorites and ignore the rest, especially your older hens. The eggs are edible, the egg does not start developing until it is incubated. A hen needs to go broody, a hormonal state, in order for her to want to hatch any eggs. In a lot of breeds the broodiness has been bred out. You can incubate fertilized eggs if you wish or keep right on eating them.

Great advice. I'd add that having a broody hen hatch chicks is a lot easier on us humans than incubation as she will ensure that they are warm, safe and get food and water and possibly more importantly, the chicks will be integrated into the flock with no effort on your behalf. I keep a broody hen for that purpose only - she's old and only lays 10-14 eggs before going broody, but she's the alpha hen and a great mother!

CT
 

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