We are new to the site. We have 4 four-year old RI Reds laying hens. Four months ago, we got an assorted order of what was to be 8 more laying hens. It turns out, we were also given an Exotic Rooster in the batch. I am trying to decide whether to keep him or not, as we have never had a rooster before, just laying hens. Please someone explain the fertilization process for me. Is there a certain amount of time you must collect your hens' eggs before fertilization occurs so that I can be assured I'm not breaking open a baby chick when I am using my hens' eggs?! Please educate me on the process. Thank You!