Are these eggs fertile?
QWithin the last week, I’ve purchased two Brahma hens who have been laying for the past month. The place I got them from kept the hens with a young rooster. My question is how long after being with the rooster will the eggs be fertile? I don’t have a rooster and was wondering whether I would be able to hatch any eggs in an incubator.
AJulie Moore says: There are two questions to consider here: rooster fertility and egg viability. As the rooster was young, he would be producing high quality sperm, ejaculating anything between 100 million and five billion sperm at a time. The number of sperm per ejaculation is seldom less than 100 million — this is the minimum required to maintain high fertility. Even though the rooster was highly fertile, it really depends on how active the rooster was amongst your hens. If they were lower down in the pecking order, it’s likely that he may not have been so interested in mating with them. As hens can store sperm for relatively long periods of time, typically up to three weeks if they are young, there’s a high probability that the eggs your hens are laying now are actually fertilised. The fertilised eggs, once laid, will remain viable for as long as a month in some extreme cases. Personally, for optimum viability, I set eggs that are rarely more than a few days to a week old. If I were you, I would collect the eggs that have been laid within the past week and set them in the incubator in one go. Hopefully, after 21 days you’ll hear the sound of peeping chicks. Good luck.
An egg hatches