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#30713 - 12/27/02 04:26 PM Using roosters for fertilizing eggs
Anonymous
Unregistered


How long do I need to have roosters in with the hens before I can collect eggs for hatching? I had 3 New Hampshire roosters in with the 30 hens last year early in the fall until I collected eggs for hatching the later part of February. Needless to say, there was alot of bareback hens! This is what I am trying to avoid as much as possible this coming hatching season. I plan on using the same amount of roosters to hens as I did last year. Of the eggs I collected last year, about 90+ % were fertile, and I hope I can do that good this year.

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#30714 - 12/27/02 11:33 PM Re: Using roosters for fertilizing eggs
Jude Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 08/14/02
Posts: 179
Loc: New Zealand
hi
the first time the rooster 'works' the hen the eggs should be fertile.
have fun
jude

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#30715 - 12/28/02 12:50 AM Re: Using roosters for fertilizing eggs
D. Caveny Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1102
Loc: Arizona
Roosters which have not been with hens need about 2 weeks to get familiar with the process. Normally one can use 1 male to 12 to 17 hens. You should keep all males together which are going to be used together or there will be lots of fighting and little mating when they are introduced to the hens. After you have the males mating you should be able to observe the behavior as hens leave the nest and an hour or so prior to lights out or sunset in the afternoon as that is when the males are most active. You can also set a test batch of eggs for 10 days and break them open and count the developed embryos vs clear or blood rings to see if fertility is satisfactory prior to setting the first eggs. After you have the chicks ON THE GROUND you can dispose of the unneeded males or keep them in a separate pen. Be certain you have chicks alive before you get rid of breeding males as sometimes disasters occur prior to hatch and if you have no males you are simply out of luck!

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#30716 - 12/28/02 01:42 PM Re: Using roosters for fertilizing eggs
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks for the replies folks. D CAVENY, you mentioned a few things in your reply which I consider will be quite helpful. Any other replies would certainly be appreciated!

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#30717 - 12/29/02 01:42 PM Re: Using roosters for fertilizing eggs
Anonymous
Unregistered


Fertility also depends on the time of year. Many people use artificial lights to stimulate egg laying. The extra light also helps the males to get into breeding shape. Right now in my barn, the lights are coming on around 4:00 am and the sun sets at about 5:30 pm. Also, I believe about a week with the females is good insurance before you collect eggs. It stimulates the male more to be with the females. And if a male breeds successfully, then the next day's egg should be fertile.

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#30718 - 12/29/02 01:53 PM Re: Using roosters for fertilizing eggs
Rob Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 783
Loc: Pennsylvania
Dust for lice too. A roo wont always work a lousy hen.

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#30719 - 12/29/02 05:07 PM Re: Using roosters for fertilizing eggs
Anonymous
Unregistered


I should not get into this topic as my memory is not too swift. However, I seem to recall sometime ago that there was a thread about how eggs are formed (CJR,HELP!!). When I butcher a hen that is a layer, there are several eggs inside, all at different stages of development.Some of the larger ones already have fairly sturdy shells and would logically be the next ones to be layed. . Are all these eggs fertilized by the roosters first " jump" on the hen? (those little rooster sermies must have corkscrews for noses to penetrate those shells).If not, then I would doubt that eggs are fertilized and hatchable the day after copulation. Short of doing a test setting, I would be waiting for the rooster to romance the hens for at least a week. Just some of my" sometimes illogical logic".

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#30720 - 01/01/03 11:54 AM Re: Using roosters for fertilizing eggs
Anonymous
Unregistered


Let me clarify my meaning of the "next day's egg should be fertile."

I have never butchered a chicken, so I don't have personal experience. I think most hens will have only one egg with a shell in her track at any one time. Usually the yolk doesn't come off the ovary until the previous egg has been laid, or until it is almost laid.

Let's say it is Friday morning. A hen will lay an egg at 11:00 am today. If a male would successfully breed her before 11:00 am, then he will fertilize the yolk that will be laid on Saturday. The egg that that is laid at 11:00 on Friday will not be fertile because the yolk is already incased in a shell, hence protecting it from the sperm.

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#30721 - 01/01/03 07:57 PM Re: Using roosters for fertilizing eggs
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Just to review the process, Pakers has it right--the shell is the last part of the production of the egg. There is no shell until shortly before the egg is layed--there is only one egg with a shell in the canal at a time. The "ripe" yolk has traveled down the entire canal, having the albumen layers and chalazae added, then the two membranes that surround the egg, moving down to lastly the shell glands, just prior to being slipped into the nest. All in a little over 24 hours. ( slowpokes--a cowbird can do this in about 12 hours) It is pretty amazing! Semen can be held in pockets along the way, and can be available for fertilizing each of the next ovules to be released, about daily, for some days after one service. One rooster with just a couple of hens is far more wear and tear on the hens than necessary for fertile eggs! The first egg after the rooster is put with the hen MAY be fertile, just depending upon the timing of ovulation, if the hen is already laying regularly. Just after the hen lays her egg is her most fertile time--canal is clear and the next egg is a day or two away! If you cannot wait any longer--set the first egg, but why not wait for a couple of weeks, and date and save all eggs layed during that period--to set at the same time?? Should be a good hatch! CJR

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