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Why do chickens lay unfertilized eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by swimmom, May 4, 2009.

  1. swimmom

    swimmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, this is proabably a dumb question, but why do chickens lay unfertilized eggs? My son's friend asked and I didn't want to answer until I had the facts straight. Thanks.
     
  2. Gloria

    Gloria Chillin' With My Peeps

    Because they don't have a rooster to fertilize them?
     
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    When a rooster actively mates the hens the eggs produced can be fertile for as long as 2 - 3 weeks at a stretch.

    No rooster no fertile eggs.
     
  4. greyhorsewoman

    greyhorsewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the poster is asking why a hen lays if not fertile. Like their wild cousins, who make a nest, mate, lay eggs, incubate and then hatch. They don't lay eggs continuously. (Am I right?)
     
  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Breeding for egg laying traits resulted (over time) in chickens (as well as some breeds of ducks) laying all the time.

    But will an unmated wild duck still lay a clutch and try to hatch out unfertile eggs?
     
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Domestic poultry have been bred for certain traits and characteristics as we humans pick and choose. The same as some strive to develop the perfect color and plumage on their birds others strive for the highest in egg laying. Some get lucky and develop both in a breed. Some you get one or the other.
     
  7. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    Lots of bird will lay without mating. Even parrot and etc.

    The longer spring daylight triggers the egg laying in the hens,even if no male around. Quail, pheasants, and etc.

    Now some birds may have to mate to lay. But not all, my guess those that dont pair up would lay with or without a male.
     
  8. DANNY

    DANNY Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    GAINESVILLE, GEORGIA
    There are a number of reasons but really depends on what kind of chicken. My cochins and silkies are so fluffy i have to AI a lot of them. One of the most common problems i chicken mites. They chew up the vent and make them sore. Sometimes the rooster is infertile but not very often.
     
  9. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    Quote:Know wild pheasant will lay with or without a rooster pheasant.
     
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Yes, chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, etc - poultry females will lay eggs and go broody even without a mate. They will do their best to sit and hatch unfertile eggs. The absence of a mating male really has nothing at all to do with the hormonal influence and natural instict.


    There is a phenomenon that is rare but does happen and has been proven in laboratory testing. Some unfertile eggs can begin to develop. [​IMG]
     

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