Breeding cockrel

by Chrissy
(Derbyshire, England)

Question
Breeding cockrel: How long does the cockerel need to be with the chickens in order for eggs to be fertilized. How long after the cockerel is taken out will eggs be fertile. How many eggs does the cockerel fertilize at a time. Thank you
Answer
I like to have a cockerel with the hens 1 – 2 weeks before assuming eggs are fertile by him.

You haven’t said how many hens this boy is expected to service and that could have some bearing on his effectiveness. Not knowing the ages and conditions of your flock, it would be impossible to give specifics as to what is going on inside their bodies.

Ten days seems to be the length of time healthy sperm can stay alive in the hens. This would be good to know if you plan any selective breeding and own multiple roosters or plan to incubate eggs.

Hens ovulate in response to lighted and dark hours, either natural or artificial, so how many “eggs” the rooster is able to fertilize at a time depends on how many are available and if he can produce enough sperm to keep up.

The yolk is the fertilized segment of the egg. The albumen, membrane layer and shell coating are added as that yolk moves through a hen’s oviduct.

I hope this gives you something to go on. There are thousands of more scientific articles on the subject telling which hormones affect this and that and how many hours each step takes.

If I could know a bit more about what you are wanting to accomplish, I might be able to give a more specific answer. Thanks for writing in!

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Separating chickens to fertilize eggs

Question
Separating chickens to fertilize eggs: I have all my chickens in a warm room for the winter, but come spring I plan to separate them by breeds to raise pure breed chickens. How long should I wait before collecting eggs to incubate to be sure they are pure breed chicks?
Answer
A rooster’s sperm can live about 10 days after a hen has successfully been bred. I would suggest waiting about 2 weeks before assuming the selected rooster has fertilized eggs in his group.

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Breeding

by Alex Oelke
(Elk river, MN, USA)

Question
I am having a problem breeding my chickens. I have 3 roosters and the pecking order of the roosters starts with a white silky, golden polish and a silver polish. The silky is over 2 years old but he may be much older. The golden polish is 3 years old. Lastly, I the silver polish is 1 year old.

Now I have tried repeatedly to have the hens sit on the eggs and they do for three and a half weeks then they give up.

I have purchased an incubator and I was wondering what should I do differently. Also, I have 40 chickens so I was wondering if that would affect it at all. If you have any tips or tricks please tell me.

lastly if i want to switch to breeding one breed do you think it would work better?

Answer

The younger the roosters the better your odds of fertile eggs. I usually keep about one rooster for every 20 hens. This can vary according to the amount of space and the temperament of the roosters.

Chicks hatch at 21 days, the hens gave up because none of the eggs were fertile.

When using an incubator make sure you turn your eggs at least 3 times a day. Also, you will have a much higher success rate if you candle your eggs. Go to youtube and search candling chicken eggs and you will learn the difference in fertile eggs and non-fertile eggs.

Egg fertility does not increase by breeding the same chickens.

Just remember the most successful breeders are hatching 50 to 80 percent of their eggs.

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Chicken mating

by Lisa
(Alba, Texas)

Question
Chicken mating: Will a rooster only mate with a hen, that is of the same breed?
Answer
A rooster will mate with any hen. However, if you are trying to raise pure breed chickens, you will need to keep your breeds separated so they don't cross breed. If you are just raising chickens for eggs, and not hatching your on baby chicks, don't worry.

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