Tag Archives: Sperm

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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Can hens choose which rooster fertilizes their eggs?

Hens have their own natural ‘morning after pill’ option. Hens mate with many different roosters. If she decides after mating that she doesn’t want a particular rooster’s offspring (usually when he’s lower in the pecking order), she can eject sperm of that specific rooster before fertilization occurs, as has been experimentally shown by numerous researchers (Pizzari and Birkhead, 2000; Dean et al., 2011).  

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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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