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Added by anne
on Mar 16, 2010.


  • Susan J.

    Nice :) When chickens and ducks lay fertile eggs, do they lay them all at once? or do they lay one fertile egg per day like usual?

    or cancel

  • anne

    No. chicken sex is pretty weird. Basically, a hen and a rooster's visible backside anatomy consists only of a vent. The rooster vent dribbles semen, the hen vent sucks it up. (Too much information yet?;-) The hen then remains fertile for about two weeks, making all the eggs she lays during this time fertile. The eggs are protected by a "bloom" which is a thin film coating the outside shell, blocking the porousness of the shell and keeping bacteria from entering the egg. (This is why you don't wash eggs or need to refrigerate them till you are about to use them when they come from your own birds.) By washing an egg you wash off the bloom and expose the egg to bacteria. This is also what keeps the "clutch" of fertile eggs from going bad. The chick inside the fertile egg does not start to develop until the hen sits on the clutch (the number of eggs that make up a clutch varies based on the size of the bird.) Once mama decides to set she keeps her belly at a constant temperature and goes "broody" meaning she only gets up to eat and poop once a day or so. In 21(?or so) days the chicks peep. They break a tiny hole in the shell and start to break their way out. Not all the eggs this mama sat on were fertile- only five.

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