Tag Archives: Hen

How to tell if my hen is in lay?

In this video clip, Mike Colley, FAI Farms poultry manager, explains if a hen is in lay. Firstly, he checks the health of the hen by looking at: feather condition across the whole body and the flight feathers — the feathers should be smooth and complete. eyes, nostrils, comb and wattles — the eyes should be open with a sparkle in them, the nostrils should be clean, and when a hen gets close to being ready to lay an egg, their combs will get larger and turn […]

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How does the rooster fertilize the egg if there is a shell on it?

When a rooster mates with the hens, his sperm make their way to the hens’ oviducts. The eggs are fertilized by the sperm in the oviducts before albumen and shells are formed. Thus, you get fertilized eggs. Broody hens will lay a clutch of a dozen fertile eggs or more during a two-week period, laying one egg per day, and then starts incubating them for about 21 days for these little bundles of joy to hatch! Watch these amazing chicken egg hatching video clips:  

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What time of day do chickens lay their eggs and how long does it take to lay an egg?

Usually in the early morning, but they have been known to lay at other times of the day or night. If you read forums at all, you will see many people who say they got their last egg for the day around 3–5 PM. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours for a hen to lay an egg. It just differs from hen to hen. According to Dr. Jacquie Jacob, a poultry Extension associate at the University of Kentucky, a hen […]

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How does an egg form inside a hen?

Once a hen is sexually mature at around 16–24 weeks of age, egg starts forming when the yolk forms inside the ovary, travels through the oviduct (more than 2 feet long) by way of the hen’s vagina. If the hen has access to a rooster and has mated with him, the egg will be fertilized while it is in the oviduct. The forming egg rotates as it travels through the oviduct, developing the egg white around the yolk. In the lower part of the oviduct, the egg […]

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How long does a hen stay fertile after the rooster is gone?

If the rooster in a flock dies, or is removed, the hen will continue to produce fertile eggs for up to 4 weeks, depending on the breed. This is because there are sperm storage tubules (SSTs or often described ‘sperm nests’) in the oviduct of the hen that collect and store sperm for later fertilization of eggs. These SSTs provide a specific micro–environment to sustain sperm survival and fertilizing potential even after the male is not available.

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Do chickens have sex to lay eggs? How do chickens mate?

Chickens actually have sex or mate just like other animals do, but not necessarily to lay eggs. This is because once a hen reaches maturity at about 6 months of age, lighting conditions trigger hormones to start the egg laying cycle. She can lay eggs without mating with a male. Egg laying is spurred by hormones, hormones are triggered by environmental factors. If you remove the environmental triggers, you can stop the egg laying. If you hope to add more chicks to your flock, however, you will […]

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Do you need a rooster for a hen to lay eggs?

A hen lays eggs irrespective of the presence of a rooster. A rooster is only necessary if you desire fertilized eggs to raise more chickens. In the egg industry, male chicks are culled shortly after birth as there is little to no use for the males. Many people believe that these male chicks go on to the meat industry where they will be raised for food. This is not the case. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an American animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Virginia, estimates […]

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How can I distinguish a hen and a roo?

Check out the eXtension’s how to distinguish male and female chickens. As a chicken owner of more than 10 years Rachel Evans (from Quora) gives us a quick rundown of the differences between the two: Roosters: Bigger combs and wattles (the fleshy red bits on the face) Pointier neck and “saddle” feathers Longer tails, often with curved feathers Taller and heavier More upright posture, with bigger spurs Crowing usually means a rooster Hens: Smaller combs and wattles Shorter, rounded neck and saddle feathers Shorter tails Smaller More […]

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