Will a 5 year old rooster still reliably fertilize eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by maridybear, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. maridybear

    maridybear Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 7, 2015
    We are being given some chickens. They are all about 5 years old. The hens (non-laying) will go in the stewpot, but I'm told that the RIR rooster is a real sweetheart. We have a Silver Phoenix roo right now who is decidedly NOT a sweetheart, and would like to maybe keep the RIR and get rid of the Phoenix. I don't want "Mr Darcy's" genetics when we start to breed. (Yes, we named him Mr Darcy. He's beautiful and gentlemanly to look at, but definitely has an attitude problem. [​IMG])

    So, my question is, would the 5 year old rooster still be able to service our girls enough that we'd get dependably fertile eggs or has he passed his prime too much?
  2. Jetblack2004

    Jetblack2004 Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 22, 2016
    South East England
    My Coop
    Hmm, well, I normally replace my cockerel every 3 years but that's mainly for inbreeding reasons. Normally with cockerels they stay fertile for a while but as they get older, won't be able to cover as many hens and you'll get less eggs that are fertile. I'd keep him and if you end up only having a few fertile eggs, get rid of him. At 5 years old, I wouldn't put him in the pot as the meat would be too tough. I normally do mine within the first 6 months :)

    1 person likes this.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I think he'd do fine, especially in the spring and early summer. You may well see a decrease in mating in late summer and after that, so if you want to hatch from him I'd do so ASAP, then plan to keep one of his male offspring for an ongoing sire.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    If he is still fertile, that is genetics worth having! Mary
    1 person likes this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Hopefully this is true and continues when he gets to your place.
    I'd get rid of or isolate the SP before introducing the RIR.
    1 person likes this.

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