When does it become fertile?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by stephkcole, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. stephkcole

    stephkcole Just Hatched

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    Over the last 2 weeks, our roosters have been fertilizing our hens. I got, from what I think, is my first egg from the new flock I've been raising. My question is when do the eggs they lay start become fertilized? I used a flashlight after getting the egg from the box to check to see if it was fertilized and the egg was clear. I didn't see any kind of veins or spots. Any kind of help would be great! This is my first time with roosters and hens together so I would really love to hatch out some babies!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Eggs will be fertile within 3 days of the hens being bred. You will see no veining until the eggs are incubated. Fertile eggs undergo a coup0le of cellular changes and will exhibit a 'bulls eye' appearance. Do an on site search on 'bulls eye fertility' for examples. It is generally not a good idea to incubate the smaller pullet eggs.
     
  3. stephkcole

    stephkcole Just Hatched

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    Oh ok, so when the hen actually starts sitting on them the process wont start until then.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Yes, that's why fertile eggs are fine to eat without any shocking experiences until they have been incubated.
     
  5. stephkcole

    stephkcole Just Hatched

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    I if put one in the fridge would it be too late to put back in the nest? Its only been in the fridge for about 3 hrs.
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You need a hen to go broody in order to incubate eggs.... it's not just a question of leaving them in the nest and expecting it to happen. I believe a nest of eggs can tip a hen that is on the verge of going broody into full mode but it will not trigger a hen that has no maternal instinct. Many breeds these days have been selectively bred for production at the expense of broodiness...ie the natural impulse to incubate eggs and raise chicks has been deliberately deselected as it reduces the number of eggs a hen will lay in a year quite dramatically. There are some breeds (Silkies, Pekins(bantam cochins) game fowl and Orpingtons to a lesser extent) that still have a strong broody urge but even with these there is no guarantee that an individual will go broody at a given time..... particularly if you really want them to!! It is also getting late in the season now (depending where you live) for a broody to raise chicks..... the natural cycle, like wild birds is mostly Spring and Summer.

    There is also no real need to refrigerate your eggs unless you have excessively high temperatures. I've had some sit on the bench top for two months in summer and still be edible. Here in the UK. even commercial eggs are not refrigerated and we buy them off the shelf in the supermarket throughout the year.

    What breeds do you have and have you given any consideration to what you will do with the, usually minimum 50% cockerels that will result from hatching eggs if you are fortunate to have a cooperative broody hen?.... I speak from experience when I say culling them is not easy!

    Regards

    Barbara
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Chillin' With My Peeps

    50% roosters? I got 75% in my last hatch. However I have the space to raise the roosters for the freezer, and I know how to process or where to get them processed. Unfortunately my dog played with my pullets, found a broken hook on the chicken coop, and I am going to be hatching again, but much better prepared this time. I only had hens sucessfully sit eggs to living chicks twice. First one had only one rooster make it. (possum raided the nest). 2nd time, 2 roosters and a hen.
     
  8. stephkcole

    stephkcole Just Hatched

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    I have EE. If they do end up hatching eggs we will probably sell the chicks.
     

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