My on facebook page and also blog focus on the joys and challenges that backyard chicken-keeping and also I am often asked questions on topicsranging from Ameraucana traitsto molting and also bumblefoot come poop. Plenty of questions Iam ableto price from personal experienceand others i researchin order to answer if i can. Ns was asked by Storey Publishingto testimonial Gail Damerow’s latest book, The Chicken Encyclopedia, and to mine surprise and also delight, it has come to be an invaluable resource, many recently in comment my very own questions around rooster fertility.

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The helpful implications that this publication were an initial impressed ~ above me by twounlikely suspects: my black color Copper Marans (BCM) rooster, Max and also my 4 year old daughter.

Max & surrogate mama, Clarice

Max concerned me indigenous Louden ranches in Ohio together a fertilized egg beforehand last July.He wasmy broody hen’s single hatchling and shehelped him integrate seamlesslyinto theflock. Iquickly becamefond that this awkward singleton, but prior to long,it became evident that he was a rooster, and also Icould not keep roosters. Ns knew that would have to go, but I can not withstand the temptation to keep him long sufficient to breed him to my Marans hens.

4 of the Fab 5

HavingMarans hens that were laying continuously dark, coco eggs that would make the Easter rabbit envious, ns was anxious because that Max to mature in order to breed. I had actually no idea just how I wouldkeep himwithoutalienating my neighbors, but I had to try, at the very least for a small while.*

egg courtesy the the Fab five

When Max started mating v the females in October, I routinely checked the BCM eggs for fertility and also by mid-November,it was game time.In December, ns greedily started hoarding and hatching BCM eggs as easily as my incubators would revolve them right into fluffy cuteness, for ns knew spring would quickly be upon usand that open up windows + vocal rooster=cranky neighbors. Max’s days were numbered.

In early February, one elaborateplan developed to return Max to his homeland, Louden Farms,some 576 miles far from us.It involved two days, three states, three cars and a limousine. Saddened at thethought the parting v my beautifulflock-master, Ibegan sharingphotos that Max and his imminent trip with my on facebook fans, which triggered questions about when my chocolate egg well can run dry.Turning come “Fertility,” in The Chicken Encyclopedia, i learned that:

“When a hen is inseminated, sperm travel easily up the oviduct come fertilize a arising yolk. If the hen laid an egg shortly before, the adjustment will likely fertilize her next egg. The variety of additional egg that will certainly be fertilized through the adjustment varies v the hen’s productivity and breed. The average duration that fertility is around 10 days. Highly abundant hens remain abundant longer 보다 hens the lay in ~ a slow rate, and also single-comb each other remain productive longer than rose-comb each other — possibly as lengthy as a month, but that’s pushing it.”

Being a hatch-a-holic, ns obviously had actually to check the waters come see just how long the Fab 5 would proceed to create fertile eggs in Max’s absence. ~ Max’s move, I continued to collect the Marans’ eggs and also hold them till an incubator ended up being available. Little did I know that mine 4 year old had her ownideas around testing those exact same eggs. While i wasout at the coop one morning, my daughter, MaryKate,decided to try her hand at the fine arts of egg cracking. After havingseen the proud in MaryKate’s confront at her accomplishment, the was difficult to be upset around it.

I inspected thesemi-scrambled eggs, i beg your pardon revealed that the egg were not fertile. I do admit to having lost counting of the number of Max’s chicks that hatched end the previous month due to the fact that his departure, that’s oneof the symptoms of being a hatch-a-holic, yet I do recognize that the an extremely last egg in the incubatorhatched tonight and also it was from one egg that was built up 12 work afterMax was last with the hens.He must have actually read the book.

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I to be honored to have actually been asked to take part in the blog tour, book-review ofThe Chicken Encyclopedia, GailDamerowis a well-known and highly respected and prolific author of such works as: Storey’s guide to increasing Chickens and The Chicken health and wellness Handbook, both of which had been on my bookshelf long before a chicken ever before stepped foot into my backyard. I encourage anyone through pet chicken to get this publication as quickly as possible. That is that valuable a resource.

*Max was carried into his ManCave (aka: hare hutch) in the garage every night for months and returned to his adoring harem after the next-door neighbors left for work-related each morning.