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#76948 - 07/30/03 11:33 AM embarassing question, chickens mating...
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi everyone, I have kind of an embarassing question, but I don't know anything about this aspect of chickens.
Do the roosters fertilize the eggs after they are layed or do they actually have sex? this may sound strange but I really don't know. we have a mix of males and females we don't know which are which yet, same with our ducks, but we don't want baby's. so if anybody can help me out with this answer I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks

Kerri

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#76949 - 07/31/03 07:30 AM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
J. Henderson Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 674
Loc: New York
Cocks' sexual proclivity, indeed, is fabled, legendary, proverbial, and the subject many barnyard jokes for good reason. They have been called roosters only since prudish Victorian times. Page Smith and Charles Daniel, in their chicken book, observed that in every culture that knows chickens a word for the male chicken will be the same as one for the male sexual organ. If your cockerels and pullets aren't old enough to be distinguished yet, just wait. In addition to roosters' bigger combs, larger size, more upright posture, more prominent feathering, and crowing, their sexual appetite will help you to identify them when the time comes.

You have little to fear about chicks hatching from eggs as long as you collect them. A hen has to go broody first, and then you have to let her set on eggs for three weeks before they will hatch.

Some people prefer fertilized eggs for eating, most find no difference, and certain vegetarians will eat unfertilized but not fertilized eggs.

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#76950 - 08/01/03 08:50 AM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Anonymous
Unregistered


Just wondering, don't fertilized eggs have blood spots in them? Or don't these appear until after the chicken has sat on them for a while? I am really new to this and just don't understand how you can eat fertile eggs if there is a baby in there.

Thanks for being patient with me.

Kerri

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#76951 - 08/01/03 08:58 AM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
J. Henderson Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 674
Loc: New York
According to the American Egg Board, re blood spots or meat spots:
Contrary to popular opinion, these tiny spots do not indicate a fertilized egg. Rather, they are caused by the rupture of a blood vessel on the yolk surface during formation of the egg or by a similar accident in the wall of the oviduct. Less than 1% of all eggs produced have blood spots.

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#76952 - 08/06/03 01:50 AM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Anonymous
Unregistered


The egg will only be fertlised at the right time of the egg production cycle - obviosly the sperm cannot get into an egg stll indide the hen which has a shell on. You can tell a fertile egg by looking at the yolk of a broken egg. The little white spot on the yolk will be blurry and indistict if the egg is unfertile, if it is fertile, then this little what spot will have a obvious white ring around it. Roosters mate often and if one egg is fertile, then all the eggs layed after are likely to be fertile as well.
See ya! smile smile smile

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#76953 - 02/21/04 04:41 PM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi, a basic question I hope someone will answer for me. Are the dozen eggs which are sold in cartons at markets a combination of fertile and unfertilized eggs? Thanks for your help.

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#76954 - 02/21/04 11:47 PM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Anonymous
Unregistered


Mare:
Most eggs for sale in retail stores come from large egg farms where males are not needed and would only add cost. So, no they are not usually fertile eggs. There are small retail operations which may buy farm fresh eggs and these could be fertile but certainly the large grocery stores would not be buying from small local farmers.

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#76955 - 02/22/04 05:38 AM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi James, thanks for your reply, much appreciated.

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#76956 - 02/28/04 06:21 PM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Anonymous
Unregistered


So can one assume then that if the rooster is mating one chicken, he will mate all the others and all the eggs collected should have a greater chance of being fertile, or if he chooses a favourite is he likely not to mate with the others?

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#76957 - 02/28/04 06:48 PM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
All the eggs are likely to be fertile, but unless you are planning to hatch chicks, it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference. An egg is an egg is an egg!

If you do not want to eat an egg that possibly is "fertile", do not keep a rooster. Roosters have a reputation that is earned. All the eggs will not be fertile, but most will. But I cannot imagine why it would make a difference, most of us wouldn't even think about it!! I have two possibly fertile eggs for breakfast every morning. They look and taste EXACTLY the same, whether they are fertile or not- can't tell! There is no baby in there!! Is this your concern or just curious? CJR

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#76958 - 02/28/04 08:00 PM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Anonymous
Unregistered


It doesnt bother me in the slightest to eat the fertile eggs, Yes i am trying to raise chicks, but am totally 'green' when it comes to chickens and roosters, you can imagine by my sign in name that we are pretty useless at what we are doing.I have 2 hens that seem to go broody one after the other, so I thought I may as well have a go at raising some myself as chickens are so expensive to buy over here.
She is in a totally enclosed shed, on her own under some stairs with a straw nest, quite darkish, warm and comfortable.
The rest of my brood have their own quarters and freerange all day, I just collected up 10 eggs then put them all under the broody in one go.
It's just that i have seen the rooster only mating one of my chickens and not the others, although he could have done without me noticing.

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#76959 - 02/28/04 09:15 PM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Sally Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 686
Loc: Florida
Hi Loosa,
You said you have 2 broody hens but not how many others with the one roo. I probably have the Most fertile eggs in the world!! I have almost as many roos as I have hens in some pens. I had to put a bunch of my roos loose in the yard and acreage till I raise pullets for them LOL.
What I was gonna tell ya was that a roo that is young and healthy and virile can, at times, breed a different hen every 5 minutes! LOL I have seen one of my young roos cover 3 different hens (one of the 3 times in this particular time period, about 30 minutes) and never miss a beat. I can go in their
pen at night to bug hunt with them and the first thing he does is tackle at least 1 of the hens.
This is why you really only need about 1 roo for 10 or so hens.....
I have only 1 time in my life had a hen that was definately, totally un fertile but she would always set and hatch eggs
Good Luck,
Sally
P.S. If you aren't sure if your eggs are fertile, if they are there should be a little squiggly white filiment attatched to the egg yolk. wink
_________________________
sallyDIABLO

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#76960 - 02/28/04 09:45 PM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hey there Sally,
I have 4 hens and one BIG rir rooster, I was looking for blood spots in the eggs, but when I crack them I had noticed all this white stuff on the yolk, it makes it hard to separate the whites for cooking, is that what you mean, cause if it is then nearly all my eggs must be fertile.
I just candled the 7 eggs Esmae is sitting on, and judging by the pictures I was given on another topic in this forum 5 were ok. we cracked the other two and they stunk bad.
Esmae didnt like me taking her eggs for a while, i had to use a barrier between my hand and her beak, felt like a warrier with his shield.lol.

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#76961 - 02/29/04 06:13 AM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well now I'm confused. I have definitely seen that squiggly white thing coming from the yolk from some of my store bought eggs, so acc. to you Sally - they're fertile. Then, I cracked my duck's eggs, which probably were fertile since my drake is on the rampage with her - and the whites were as clear as clear could be. Is it because her eggs were so fresh the white "thing" (for lack of a better word - don't know what it's called at that point) hadn't developed yet?

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#76962 - 02/29/04 07:08 AM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Spotted Crow Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 855
Loc: Massachusetts
The little white squiggly thing is was centers the yolk in the egg. It's called a chalaza. And there's one on each side of the yolk.

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#76963 - 02/29/04 09:50 AM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
Spotted Crow is correct. The white squiggle has nothing to do with fertility. Do a search on fertile eggs in several of the topic areas to learn more.

Bill

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#76964 - 02/29/04 06:11 PM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Sally Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 686
Loc: Florida
hmmmm.....ok, if I am wrong I apoligize, but, I have never had the "rooster" (that's what my step-mom used to call it) laugh in non-fertile eggs that I canremember. That being said, I NEVER use store bought eggs so I guess I will have to get some and see. In my defence confused ...I worked at an egg processing plant years ago and we handled THOUSANDS of eggs a day and NONE of them had a rooster in them. There were plenty with blood spots etc, and some that the yolk was VERY heavy looking tho. My search is on.
confused in FL shocked
_________________________
sallyDIABLO

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#76965 - 03/01/04 04:13 AM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Jocelyn Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 1467
Loc: Canada
Sally, I have had several smallish pullets locked up all winter with no rooster and the eggs till have the white wiggly things in them. It is a string to hold the yolk in the centre of the egg, so it doesn't stick to the shell. It breaks down over time, so store bought eggs, if old enough, won't have one.

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#76966 - 03/01/04 02:02 PM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Anonymous
Unregistered


O.K. so now I am totally confused, but it doesnt really matter, as I am not desperately trying to get chicks, but after candling I think I have 5, I will know this week. And I dont care if I eat fertilized eggs, all the same to me, and the family don't even think about it, I dish it up, they eat. lol

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#76967 - 03/01/04 02:03 PM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
Here is a site that may help in your research. http://www.georgiaeggs.org/index.html

Bill

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#76968 - 03/01/04 05:58 PM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Bon Perez Offline
Chicken

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 89
Loc: California
Here is another site that I found that I thought was very interesting. It goes into detail about the reproduction, forming of eggs, hatching etc.

www.msstate.edu/dept/poultry/avianemb.htm
_________________________
Bonnie

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#76969 - 03/01/04 09:25 PM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Sally Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 686
Loc: Florida
shocked LOL I stand corrected and thank you Bill. Several posts here explained my dilemma.
1.) The whole concept of the squiggle started years ago when I was a kid. I was taght by my step-mom, who was taght by her mom, whom all grew up in the back woods of Georgia with nothing but farm fresh eggs, that that was their only answer to the white formation in the egg.
2.) Because of the fact that the egg processing plant I worked at would sometimes keep eggs for months before processing makes me realize WHY I never noticed the squiggles in them.
My deepest opologies for mis-information of mine.
Jeesh I feel dumb frown Thank you all for helping to set me straight. My bad.
Loosa, good luck with your biddies, I hope they all make it out.
Sally
_________________________
sallyDIABLO

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#76970 - 03/02/04 07:48 AM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hey there Sally, don't feel bad. You were just trying to help, and who doesn't make mistakes now and then? (I know I sure do!)

Bill and Bon, thanks for those great sites. The embyro/chick development was especially interesting.

Q: Where should fertile eggs be stored that I don't want to hatch? I've been keeping them on the kitchen counter - temp. about 68 in house. Info. says holding at 55 (like in fridge bin) is good for storing eggs til incubation. I want fertility to stop asap - what's best? (p.s. no, I'm not getting rid of loverboy. lol)

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#76971 - 03/02/04 09:36 AM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Raven Offline
Chicken

Registered: 09/12/03
Posts: 121
Loc: Canada
Hi Mare:

If you want fertile eggs to hatch- the best temp for storing them is around 50-65 degrees. I used to put mine down our rock well, where it was perfectly 52 degrees all the time, summer or fall. Had 100% hatch doing it, too.

If you DON'T want eggs to hatch- refridgerate them. Anything stored under 42 degrees (I think, don't quote me, I'm going on memory here) won't usually hatch when incubated, though some people say they can store eggs in fridge for a month and still have them hatch. Didn't work for me, either time I tried it...not one developed.

Leaving them at room temperature COULD speed up the incubation process, I've been told. Some eggs I hatched were stored at room temp, and hatched at 19 days. All lived, despite being "early".
cheers,
Raven

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#76972 - 03/02/04 09:52 AM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
There is a lot of unnecessary worry about fertile eggs. While there is some cell division at warmer temperatures than 50-60f, think of the nice big hen who lays her eggs outside in a nest, maybe taking nearly a month to fill her nest with 15-20 eggs before setting. Each day that she lays an egg, she warms the other eggs slightly, but when she sets, they all hatch at 21 days after she remains on the nest. During the time she is laying her clutch, you could have eaten any of the eggs and would not have seen any change significant, from that of a freshly laid egg. The blastoderm, germinal disc, might be a little larger, but that possible future chick, just isn't forming any faster than the last egg that is laid before the hen sets. Eggs might be outside in any temperature, from 40s at night and 70s+ during the day. The hen is only on the eggs for the time she is laying. If there were significant development of the fertile egg while she is warming them, those eggs would hatch days ahead of the last eggs laid. But this does not happen! They all hatch at 21 days after she begins to set. Think about it. All of those eggs could be collected and eaten just before she sets--and would be palatable and you would not notice any difference between the first laid egg and the last one! Eggs are a wonderful food, have great lasting capacity, a great packaging to keep them safe from easy contamination, and are sometimes able to give us beautiful birds to carry on the gift. Not to worry so much! CJR

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#76973 - 03/02/04 05:45 PM Re: embarassing question, chickens mating...
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi, you've made such a good point, CJR. It's a miracle, first that she even lays an egg, but also that they'll all hatch at the same time, regardless of when each was laid. That is amazing!

So then, in your case Raven, you had only 19 days of actual incubation and successful hatches with eggs stored at room temperature prior? I'm wondering why they would hatch under the hen at the natural rate, yet faster in the incubator - (supposing all eggs were held at the same temperature).

I did eat the eggs, by the way, and I'm guessing they were fertile simply from all the mating going on. I'd prefer it if they weren't fertile -(just have trouble getting past the potential for development, can't help it). But, she's laying beautiful, soft green eggs, and I'm not going to let them go to waste.

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