It can range from a once off meeting to around 3-7 days on average.
The key is activity.
Romeo rooster may have his favourites while ignoring other hens.
Hens may also choose which rooster's sperms that prefer, and reject the sperm for the rooster they are with.
An egg takes around 26 hours to travel through the reproductive tract before being laid. The first signs of fertilisation will not be detectable for the first one or two eggs if it was successful.
For optimum performance:
- Lock in rooster with one to seven hens in breeding pen for 3-7 days (according to the breed and personality preference)
- Give them optimum levels vitamins and minerals through high quality feed PRIOR to and DURING mating.
- Ensure egg shell quality is high. No thin shells. All hens must be laying.
- Appropriate age (e.g. hens around 12 months of age)
- Birds chosen for breeding are of good breeding quality (personality, health resistance and physical breed traits)
- For FLUFFY BREEDS: plucking and reduction of feathers around the back ends of both rooster and hens is required. (e.g. Pekins, Orpingtons, Cochins, etc.)
The hen will stay fertilised for about 2 weeks.
In that time, the rooster can return to his own coop away from the girls.
For more information about breeding, contact your local Poultry Club for expert tips for your breed type.
They are a wealth of information!