When to expect chicks??


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 21, 2011
After discovering we have a rooster, how long will it be before he will start to mate? He is around 5 months old and just now crowing. Another question is how do you tell if you have a fertilized egg vs. one that isn't fertilized. I don't want to crack one open and find something other than a yellow yolk. Will the hen lay several at 1 time so she can sit on them? I am a true rookie at this, I am sorry for all the questions. I am so glad there are Experts like you all to help out. Thank you for your info and experience.

Gary Blaine--Ky
A rooster will keep a dozen hens fertile. You didn't say how many hens you keep. A young rooster is over sexed and will wear out a small number of hens. He'll likely be riding them at 6 months. As for "seeing" fertile eggs, the tiny white dot is soooo small, no one will care if you're eating/selling fertile eggs. It is incredibly small.

You won't crack an egg and be shocked to see anything at all. You don't even need a rooster to get eggs, and you won't have baby chicks forming unless one of your hens decides to go broody and sit on them for over three weeks. Most breeds do not go broody, as the hatcheries breed that tendency out. It all depends on the breed.
Chickens will lay ABOUT 1 egg a day. What happens in 'real life' is the hen will lay the eggs - one a day - until they decide to brood. THEN they sit on the eggs - however many they have laid - until they hatch. In the make believe world of the chicken coop - free range or not - the hen rarely goes broody. If she does she will do so until the eggs hatch. If she doesn't have any eggs of her own laying around she will sit on any she can find. If you remove the eggs she will continue to seek out eggs and sit on them. This will go on for months if you let it. So, if your egg nests are all empty around three or four in the afternoon my guess would be no one is broody.
In the coop with the rooster we have 4 birds. 2 Brahmas-- 1 roo and 1 hen, the other 2 are white leghorns I believe. As far as Broodiness goes, I have a partridge silkie in another pen and she likes to go broody. Sometimes she will do it for 3 weeks or so. I just keep taking the egss out from under her and shooing her down to the run so she will eat and drink.

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