So how many hens will one rooster mate with to produce fertile eggs? Also, what does the cold do to

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MarshallPrime, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. MarshallPrime

    MarshallPrime Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know there is no way to know for sure, unless watching them for hours on end, but does anyone know what a "normal" number would be?

    I have 1 rooster and 12 hens right now and wonder how many actually are getting fertilized. With the cold temps (im in northern IN) I have not spend much time in or around he coop and not observed a lot of mating.


    Also, I want to start collecting eggs to incubate and am concerned that the cold damages the egg before I can get home from work to collect them. We are supposed to get to 30's and low 40's this weekend and next week so this should be less of a problem but I just didnt know how long the fertilized egg could handle the cold. I know they are tough but not sure how much they can take.


    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Do you know how to check an egg to see if it's fertile? Do a google search to look at pictures so you know what to look for. (the blastoderm looks like a flat bulls eye or donut in a fertile egg, and looks more "granular" in an un-fertile egg.) Then, every time you crack an egg open you can check. I assume that you will find that close to 100% of your eggs are fertile. Generally, if an egg has not frozen, it should be ok for incubation. Of course eggs that have been stored at more ideal temps would be more likely to develop well.
     
  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I have heard two ratios for roo/hen. I've heard one rooster is all you need to service 10 hens. I've heard you need 1 rooster for every 6. It's really hard to get straight cut answers in the chicken world...lol I've heard the 10 or 10-14 more regularly though.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    My roo covers 15 gals very nicely. I bet he could easily keep up with 20!
     
  5. maddog3355

    maddog3355 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have always had clears when candling at 7 to 10 days meaning not fertile eggs. I always thought it to be just the way it is. After reading on here about other people experience I think that is the norm to have a few non fertile eggs. 3 or 4 out of 40 would not be bad I would say it is normal.
     
  6. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1 rooster should be able to handle up to 20-25 hens. It depends a lot on the "drive" of the rooster.

    As far as fertility... cold nights wont hurt fertility for a few nights. If they sit in cold weather for an evening or a day before being gathered, I would expect a good hatch rate.
     
  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I think mine could too...He's only 4 months old and I ended up w/5 girls out of that hatch and he's already wanting to get some. They aren't even laying yet!!! I'm getting some silkie hens from my sister probably next month, and I am doing the Easter hatch, so by fall he'll have more girls. I've had to seperate him out at times just to give them some peace....lol
     

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