How Does a Rooster Fertilize an Egg?

How Does a Rooster Fertilize an Egg

Last Updated on November 14, 2023 by Fumipets

How Does a Rooster Fertilize an Egg?


Understanding the process of how a rooster fertilizes an egg involves delving into the intricate mechanics of avian reproduction. Here’s a concise breakdown of the key aspects:

When hen eggs are deposited, they are not fertilized. A hen requires a rooster to lay fertile eggs. Up to 10 hens’ eggs will be fertilized by the rooster. In order for his sperm to enter the oviduct and fertilize the eggs that the female hen will lay during the next several days, he must mate with her. You will need a rooster and must make sure that your hens and rooster are reproducing if you want to increase or maintain the size of your flock.

In this post, we’ll go through the procedures involved in effectively fertilizing your hen’s eggs.

The Chicken Courtship Ritual

Roosters are more active in their efforts to mate throughout the spring. They may display patterns of courting at this time.


Finding a food tidbit and then pointing it out to the hen is known as tidbitting. She may not give up right immediately, but she will keep in mind the rooster’s wise approach.

The Rooster Dance

Additionally, the rooster could dance to entice the female. The rooster dances around it after lowering one of its wings to the ground. He will attempt to board the hen when he gets close to the hen’s back and mate.

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There may not always be a ritual or wooing, and the rooster and the hen may mate violently, inflicting harm on the female.

Dominant Roosters

The youngest and fittest rooster often occupies the front position in the pecking order of roosters. He will repel other roosters’ attention, which might result in hostility and fights. Usually, the more docile of the two roosters will flee and wait his turn. For around two years, the dominant rooster will have to deal with this, but by the time he becomes three years old, he will typically find that younger, fitter roosters will take his place and he will become a subordinate rooster.

The hens rate the roosters’ propensity to protect the flock, supply food, and defend it from other roosters. Females often find huge, colorful combs and wattles to be quite beautiful. Even if he is the only rooster in the coop, a hen won’t always mate with a rooster she dislikes.

Secondary Roosters

Although it requires more work and they sometimes do not receive the best options in the flock, secondary roosters may still mate with hens. To get a hen, secondary roosters will need to use cunning techniques like tidbitting.


Typically, a single rooster can take care of 10 hens. Any more than this, and he could find managing the chickens stressful. If there are any fewer, the chickens risk being beaten and overworked.

It is common for a rooster to have one or two favorite hens that he returns to above other members of the flock, even when the male to female ratio is optimal. These chickens could be overworked. They could exhibit harmed skin in addition to a loss of feathers on their neck and back. On the favorites, hen saddles may be put in order to stop this injury.

How Do Chickens Mate?


The act of mating itself happens rather quickly. The rooster will jump on the hen’s back once any wooing is over. If the woman is obedient, she will crouch and lower her body and head. She displays her desire by extending her wings as well. The guy frequently grabs the comb to further maintain his balance after treading to assist him stand up straight.

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The Cloacal Kiss

Once in place, the rooster lowers his tail and gives a cloacal kiss. Instead of a penis, a rooster has a papilla, a protrusion located within the cloaca. This produces sperm. To ensure that the sperm reaches the ready eggs, the hen must open her cloaca. In addition to fertilizing the day’s eggs, part of the sperm will gather in sperm pockets, where it may continue to fertilize eggs for the next four to five days.

The rooster normally leaves when the mating act is through, and the hen will gather herself and continue.

What Age Do Roosters Start Mating?

Cockerels typically mature sexually between 4 and 5 months of age. They often begin to generate sperm and behave more like roosters at this age. A rooster will often live for many years, yet as they become older, they will produce less sperm.

Why Do Chickens Run Before Mating?

The hen may sometimes flee if she does not wish to mate. The rooster will pursue her, tackle her, and mate with her.

How Many Times Can a Rooster Mate in One Day?

Roosters are very sexually active birds. Tens of millions of sperm may still be delivered throughout the day after producing between 100 million and 5 billion sperm during a morning session. An average rooster may mate 10 to 20 times each day.

How Do You Know If a Rooster Has Fertilized an Egg?

Opening an egg is the easiest technique to determine whether it has been fertilized. The yolk of a fertilized egg has a white ring around it. But once the egg is opened, it is no longer alive.

The process of candling is frequent. Take the egg into a dark room and shine a bright light beneath the big end of the egg after letting it incubate for a few days. You will be able to see a black area surrounded by veins if it is viable. Otherwise, all you’ll notice is the yolk’s rounded form. On days 4, 10, and 17, candling is done to see how the embryo is growing. Although modern chicken farmers often use a bright light or specialized light, candles were the traditional technique of candling.

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How Many Eggs Does a Rooster Fertilize at One Time?

The “egg of the day” is the first egg that the rooster will fertilize, however sperm is stored in sperm pockets and may fertilize eggs in the following days. Although two weeks is the maximum amount of time that this sperm may survive, five days is the average duration. However, a rooster might fertilize 14 eggs from a single mating if the hen is prolific and the sperm is still viable after two weeks.

How Does a Rooster Fertilize an Egg?

As soon as they are born, roosters begin to develop sexually, and it is their responsibility to maintain the flock’s survival by mating with hens and fertilizing eggs. They take this role seriously and may engage in courting rituals like rooster dance and tidbiting, however some choose to omit these practices in favor of a more overt strategy. When the rooster performs a cloacal kiss to deliver sperm into the oviduct, the hen will jump onto her back. The egg of the day will be fertilized as a result, and eggs may continue to be fertilized for around a week. You now understand how chickens mate!

Frequently Asked Questions



What Role Does the Rooster Play in Fertilization?

The rooster’s primary role is to provide sperm during copulation, which is essential for fertilizing the egg laid by the hen.


How Does Copulation Occur?

During copulation, the rooster mounts the hen and transfers sperm into the cloaca, a common opening for reproductive and excretory functions in birds.


Where Does Fertilization Take Place?

Fertilization occurs in the oviduct of the hen, where the egg travels. The sperm from the rooster meets the egg in the infundibulum, the section of the oviduct closest to the ovary.


What Happens After Fertilization?

Once fertilized, the egg begins its journey down the oviduct, where different layers, such as the albumen (egg white) and shell membranes, are added. Eventually, the fully formed egg is laid.


Can Hens Lay Unfertilized Eggs?

Yes, hens can lay unfertilized eggs without the presence of a rooster. However, for fertilized eggs that have the potential to develop into chicks, a rooster’s involvement is crucial.

Understanding the intricacies of rooster-fertilized eggs sheds light on the vital role roosters play in the reproduction of poultry, ensuring the continuation of the avian life cycle.




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