Poultry Fertility Question

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After being exposed to a rooster, drake, gander, or tom; how long are chicken, geese, ducks, and turkeys fertile by their male counterpart?

-- Chandler (Providencefarms2001@yahoo.com), November 23, 2001


Funny you should ask because I was researching this the other day for chickens. A hen can store the sperm in her body for more than a month and produce fertile eggs that whole time. Pretty amazing eh!

Can't help you wtih the other poultry I'm afraid.

-- Anita in NC (aholton@mindspring.com), November 23, 2001.

A hen will stay fertile for only about 3 to 4 days after one mating.

Hen Fertility

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), November 24, 2001.

Rogo, I notice that the article you reference says "Sperm can remain alive in these glands and fertilize eggs for up to 3 weeks". The article may be a little hasty, ill-prepared, and inaccurate.

In fact, 3 weeks accords with my memory. The fertility of the sperm stored in the hen begins to drop after a week, drops sharply after two weeks, and has reached effectively zeo (althugh not quite) after three weeks. So - hens should ideally be mated every week, and (ideally) no less frequently than fortnightly. This accords with other information I had, which said mated hens could be relied on to produce chickens (eggs) fathered by roosters who had mated them up until about ten days after mating. The context of this was producing chicks fathered by valuable stud roosters who had died. After this, fertility was too low to be a viable proposition for the hens, who were also valuable breeding animals. With hens mated ten days after a previous mating, the new mating's sperm would simply swamp the stale sperm.

-- Don Armstrong (from Australia) (darmst@yahoo.com.au), November 25, 2001.

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