question about egg fertilization


10 Years
Nov 6, 2009
outside, except when I'm inside
I realize that this may sound like a very dumb question, but I seriously don't know. I tried doing research on this, and couldn't come up with an answer. Anyway, my question is, does each time a rooster mate (successfully)with a hen, does that only fertilize the next egg that is waiting to be layed? Meaning, does the roo have to mate with the hen everyday, for her to lay a fertilized egg everyday? I guess I'm confused, because with mammals, once the sperm has met the egg, no more eggs are shed until the mammal is no longer pregnant. Well, as we all know, hens are always laying eggs. Now, no poking fun, I've only had chickens for less than a year, and thus far, never hatched out any babies.

Thanks for any input!!
I'm also new to chickens. (less than a year) myself. Another experienced member of this forum gave me a very informative response, in this thread. (OK the link posting did not work) give me a few moments and I'll see if I can get it posted to your question.
If the roo successfully mates with the hen, then his sperm will be held in a sperm "pouch" for about 21 days. For best fertilization rates, he should mate with her at least once a week.

Hope that helps! I found that the book "A Guide to Better Hatching" by Janet Stromberg was a huge help in answering all those odd questions. It's a great book when you're just starting out.
Awesome! Thanks so much! I was wondering if the hen had some little resevoir in her body or something, that held onto sperm for a little bit. I even deleted my comment saying so in my first post, because I thought people would think I was silly
BTW, if you were to separate a hen and roo, strictly for the purpose of breeding, how long would you keep them together? Since he should mate with her at least once a week, maybe keep them together for like 2 or 3 weeks, provided he is successfully mating with her?
He doesn't need to mate with the hens every day, but boy does he want to...several times, in fact.
Holy cow! I swear I searched and couldn't find anything! Sorry for posting the same question. I think I had a hard time wording it the right way in my search, maybe that is why I wasn't coming up with your thread. Sorry. I guess I should look harder next time.
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