keeping roosters with hens : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I was told last night that you have to seperate roosters and hens or else all the eggs will be fertilized and you can't eat them. Is this true? Also, do the eggs get fertilized before or after they are laid? Thanks for the info. Stace

-- Stacey (, February 22, 2002


Fertile eggs are perfectly edible unless you're operating under some sort of proscription by reason of faith or philosophy. I'm not sure if fertile eggs are acceptable under kosher or halal rules but there's certainly no biological reason that you can't eat them.

As for your second question, eggs are fertilized BEFORE they are laid. If you see a rooster grab a hen and jump on top of her he's mating with the hen. Presuming that both the hen and the rooster are of an age and are both healthy the eggs will then be fertile.

There's no need to seperate hens and roosters unless you don't want fertile eggs or the roosters are becoming a nuisiance (which they can sometimes become). I've got a rooster in with my hens right now. The hen's eggs are delicious.


-- Alan (, February 22, 2002.

This reminds me of the first time I met my "city-native" neighbors. His wife asked if you could eat an egg straight out of a chicken. Before I could answer, her hubby stood up a said "well not if it is walking funny or acting funny" then she asked, "how do they pasturize them then, like foodlion does...we just laughed and laughed...not that that was a stupid question, it just tickled my funny bone!

-- julie (, February 22, 2002.

Stacey, just curious who told you that? Were they pulling your leg or serious? I have heard or read that fetilized eggs where lower in cholesterol, any one know if that is true?

-- tracy (, February 22, 2002.

Feritlized eggs cost more, and are considered 'better' than non fertilized ones by many people.

-- Thumper/inOKC (, February 22, 2002.

The person that told me that had chickens around when she was a kid. Her mom took care of them. She swore up and down that you couldn't eat fertilized eggs and there was no way I could keep the roosters with the laying hens. It didn't sound right to me but she was so sure of herself that I had to ask. Whew! Trauma solved!!

-- Stacey (, February 22, 2002.

This reminds me of the time years ago when Mom sold eggs to a local woman. The woman called her up and told her the eggs were rotten. Mom said, "Oh, I'm so sorry! Come on over and we'll replace them with ones fresh from the nest!" The lady went to the henhouse with Mom and watched her take the eggs from the nest boxes. Then they went into the house where Mom broke one open to show her they were not rotten. With a smug look on her face, the woman pointed to the little white thing that was attached to the yolk and said, "There! See?! Rotten!" While fighting back the urge to grin, Mom explained to her what it was.

I've always kept a rooster with the hens. Beside giving me something else pretty to look at, it seems to make them lay better.

-- Wingnut (, February 22, 2002.

Not that this is germain to anything Stacey, but hens do lay better overall without a rooster around. Lots of stats on this. However, of course, if you want little chicks, ya gotta have the rooster. LQ

-- Little Quacker (, February 22, 2002.

one woman swears unfertile eggs give a migraine, and fertile ones don't.

-- marcee (, February 23, 2002.

Hey, Little Quacker, if hens lay better without a roo around, what's my hen's excuse. I toss several dozen eggs/day, rotated with the 6 dozen I keep in the fridge. I've got lots of roos, about one for every 4 hens! -LOL- And the egg laying doesn't slow down much in the winter. And that's without any heat or lights out there. They all free range together during the day and roost together in the pens at night. Guess my 'kids' didn't read the book! -G-

-- ~Rogo (, February 23, 2002.

I'd be interested in reading those stats, Little Quacker, if you would please post where they are.

-- Wingnut (, February 26, 2002.

Fertilized eggs are exactly the same as regular eggs. From what I understand, the eggs are clear until a hen decides to incubate them. I keep a rooster with my three hen, and I have a big egg breakfast every weekend, plus I just sold half a dozen eggs to a co-worker. I wouldn't feel as comfortable if the rooster wasn't there, who would protect the girls?

-- Molly (, March 21, 2002.

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