how are chicken eggs fertilized

How Do Chicken Eggs Get Fertilized? The 5 Stages Explained

Have you ever wondered how chicken eggs are fertilized? For many people, the process of chicken egg fertilization is a bit of a mystery, a fascinating and intricate one. How does a chick end up inside an egg, anyway? This article will describe the chicken egg fertilization process.

How are chicken eggs fertilized by rooster?

The process of fertilizing chicken eggs by a rooster involves five stages that can vary in duration depending on the breed and behavior of the chickens.

1. Courtship

In this stage, the rooster expresses his interest in a hen by performing a special dance that consists of circling her, lowering one wing, and bobbing his head. The dance is meant to attract the hen’s attention and show off his strength and health. The hen may respond by crouching low to the ground, which signals her acceptance of the rooster’s advances. Alternatively, she may ignore or peck at the rooster, which indicates her rejection. The courtship can last from a few seconds to several minutes, depending on how quickly the hen makes up her mind.

2. Mating

Next, the rooster mounts the hen from behind and wraps his wings around her body. He then aligns his cloaca with hers and transfers the seminal fluid that contains active sperm into her reproductive tract. The cloaca is an opening at the base of the tail that serves as both an exit for waste and an entrance for reproductive material. The mating only lasts for a few seconds, and then the rooster dismounts and moves on to another hen. The hen may shake her feathers or preen herself after mating.

3. Sperm Storage

The hen has two sperm storage glands at the junction of her cloaca and oviduct, which are tubes that carry eggs and sperm. The sperm storage glands can hold up to 100 million sperm for up to four weeks, depending on the breed and age of the hen. The sperm is released from the glands in small batches and travels along the oviduct until it reaches the left one, where the eggs are formed.

4. Egg Fertilization

The fourth stage is fertilization, which occurs when an egg is ovulated from the ovary and enters the oviduct. The egg has a yolk that contains nutrients for the developing embryo, and a membrane that surrounds it. The sperm meets the egg in the upper part of the oviduct, called the infundibulum, and penetrates the membrane to fuse with the egg. This creates a zygote, which is a single cell that contains genetic material from both parents. The fertilization can happen as soon as one hour after mating, or as late as four weeks after mating, depending on when the next egg is ovulated.

5. Egg Laying

Egg formation takes about 26 hours from fertilization to laying. The zygote travels down the oviduct and undergoes cell division to form an embryo. As it moves along, it receives layers of albumen (egg white), shell membranes, and shell from specialized glands in the oviduct. The shell is made of calcium carbonate and gives protection and structure to the egg. The egg also receives a coating of bloom, which is a thin layer of protein that seals the pores of the shell and prevents bacteria from entering. The egg is finally laid through the cloaca and into a nest or incubator.

How Do Chicken Eggs Get Fertilized Video

Watch the chicken egg fertilization process below.

Wrapping Up

The process of fertilizing chicken eggs is a complex and fascinating one that involves many factors and variables. From the courtship dance to mating, from sperm storage to fertilization, from egg formation to laying, each step plays an important role in producing fertile chicken eggs.

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