Question about Fertilizing Eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bert428, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. bert428

    bert428 New Egg

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    Apr 17, 2009
    Hi. I am new to this so bear with me. I have 20 chickens, 14 hens and 6 roosters I raised from chicks last summer. They are mostly Rhode Island Reds with a couple mixed in with a little white. They are laying a ton of eggs now, about 10-15 a day. I have been checking the eggs with a flashlight and nothing. I see them breeding during the day, but the eggs are not fertilized. The rooster mate, but fight all the time when mating. Do I have to seperate them or pair them off? Do I have to get rid of some of the roosters? I'd like for them to breed and hatch and produce more chickens. All help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. TheDuckCrew

    TheDuckCrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2009
    Connecticut
    [​IMG]
    6 roos with 14 hens is a lot. i'd say get more hens!! in the mean time, maybe seperate them.
    the only way to tell if they are fertile is to crack them open and look for the white bullseye on the yolk. if one is fertile, most likely they all are. considering your hen to roo ratio, i'd say you have fertile eggs. if you leave the eggs for awhile, then one of your hens may become broody and hatch the eggs. if you don't get any broody hens, you'll need an incubator to get little fuzz butts. if you seperate them into pens, then you could wait for the chicks to grow until they can be put with the rest, and just put them in a different pen than their parents.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Yup, a flashlight only works once the egg has been incubated a while.

    Just look at 'em closely when you're making fried eggs or whatever [​IMG] There is a good stickied thread at the top of the "Eggs, Egglaying and Behavior" part of BYC [e.t.a. - ridgerunner gave you the link] on how to tell a fertile vs infertile egg, w/lots of good pics. You're looking for not just a white disk but one with one or more clear zones, sort of a bullseye appearance. You cannot possibly see this until you crack the egg open and pour the yolk out (obviously can't hatch the egg after that [​IMG] but you'll know your fertility rate).

    I bet you'll find most of your eggs *are* fertile.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  5. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    You cannot tell if an egg is fertile by using a flashlight. That is called candling and will only show if the egg is developing into a chick after it has been in an incubator or under a broody hen for several days.
     
  6. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don`t know how you are checking them with a flashlight for fertility??? With a rooster hen ratio like that, I`d say they have to be fertile. After 51 years raising fowl, I learned on this forum that you actually can determine the fertility of an egg, but you have to break it open to tell. Do a search on this site if ya wanna know. Otherwise, to tell if they are fertile you hafta candle after incubating, either by hen or incubator for 7 days, then again at 14 days. That should do it. In reality though, with 6 roosters and 14 hens, there is no doubt they are fertile. A ratio of 14/2 is normal. Good luck.......Pop
     
  7. bert428

    bert428 New Egg

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    Apr 17, 2009
    WOW !! Thanks for all the great responses. I cracked one open and sure enough it had the "bullseye". So they are are fertile like you said. Now I at least I know. I wonder why the hens don't lay on them then. Guess I'll have to see about incubating them. Thanks for all the help. Bert
     
  8. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    West Central Ohio
    Quote:From your description it sounds like you have some Red Sex-Links. They don't often go broody, though there is the occasional exception. If you really want a hen to set, then get some Silkies or Cochins [​IMG]
     

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