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When can you incubate eggs?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
This may be a dumb question but i have heard multiple answers and would like some clarification.. Btw i am farely new with chickens and still learning. I was told by someone that eggs were only fertile in the spring therefore you could only incubate and hatch eggs in the spring. But a local lady who has a farm with every animal known to man says she hatches eggs in an incubator year round. So what is the facts behind when eggs are fertile, what makes them fertile, and when can you incubate eggs ?!
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by cottonwood23 View Post

This may be a dumb question but i have heard multiple answers and would like some clarification.. Btw i am farely new with chickens and still learning. I was told by someone that eggs were only fertile in the spring therefore you could only incubate and hatch eggs in the spring. But a local lady who has a farm with every animal known to man says she hatches eggs in an incubator year round. So what is the facts behind when eggs are fertile, what makes them fertile, and when can you incubate eggs ?!

You can incubate and hatch eggs anytime of the year, though fertility goes way down in the Winter...

Eggs are usually going to be fertile when a Rooster is present, and eggs become fertile after the rooster does his little duty with the hens. You can incubate eggs whenever, (though they'll only hatch when fertile) and you can incubate any amount!

A proud member of 4h and a strong bearer of the Pacific Northwest and its Cold, not to mention a chicken mommy of 3 Cochins, 1 Sicilian Buttercup, 2 Bantam EE, 1 RIR/EE Mix, 1 Mille Fleur Booted Bantam, and 2 bantam OEGB's, a Black Bearded Silkie and a double laced silver Plymouth Bantam!
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A proud member of 4h and a strong bearer of the Pacific Northwest and its Cold, not to mention a chicken mommy of 3 Cochins, 1 Sicilian Buttercup, 2 Bantam EE, 1 RIR/EE Mix, 1 Mille Fleur Booted Bantam, and 2 bantam OEGB's, a Black Bearded Silkie and a double laced silver Plymouth Bantam!
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CascadiaRiver View Post

You can incubate and hatch eggs anytime of the year, though fertility goes way down in the Winter...
Eggs are usually going to be fertile when a Rooster is present, and eggs become fertile after the rooster does his little duty with the hens. You can incubate eggs whenever, (though they'll only hatch when fertile) and you can incubate any amount!

So is there a way to know if an egg is fertile? The lady i mentioned has had hatch rates of nearly 98% year round. So i guess its trial and error?
post #4 of 6

Well, you can... But you have to crack it open... There are forums to help understand the little blastoderm/fertile spot on the egg yolk, but the only true way to test a fertile egg besides incubating it is opening and checking the yolk. And its usually trial and error, fancier show breeds have lower winter fertility but heritage breeds and hatchery/feedstore birds have a bit better fertility in the winter I've seen.

What does she raise? Are you planning on getting eggs to add to a flock or to make one? :D

A proud member of 4h and a strong bearer of the Pacific Northwest and its Cold, not to mention a chicken mommy of 3 Cochins, 1 Sicilian Buttercup, 2 Bantam EE, 1 RIR/EE Mix, 1 Mille Fleur Booted Bantam, and 2 bantam OEGB's, a Black Bearded Silkie and a double laced silver Plymouth Bantam!
Reply
A proud member of 4h and a strong bearer of the Pacific Northwest and its Cold, not to mention a chicken mommy of 3 Cochins, 1 Sicilian Buttercup, 2 Bantam EE, 1 RIR/EE Mix, 1 Mille Fleur Booted Bantam, and 2 bantam OEGB's, a Black Bearded Silkie and a double laced silver Plymouth Bantam!
Reply
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CascadiaRiver View Post

Well, you can... But you have to crack it open... There are forums to help understand the little blastoderm/fertile spot on the egg yolk, but the only true way to test a fertile egg besides incubating it is opening and checking the yolk. And its usually trial and error, fancier show breeds have lower winter fertility but heritage breeds and hatchery/feedstore birds have a bit better fertility in the winter I've seen.
What does she raise? Are you planning on getting eggs to add to a flock or to make one? big_smile.png

She has alot of different types, all laying hens . and we want to add to the small flock we already have. Have 6 hens and 1 rooster right now that we have had for a month or so.. But want to add to what we have soon.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by cottonwood23 View Post


She has alot of different types, all laying hens . and we want to add to the small flock we already have. Have 6 hens and 1 rooster right now that we have had for a month or so.. But want to add to what we have soon.

I would say if she says she has excellent hatch rates year round, go for it! How much is she pricing a dozen (or per egg) dont overpay for eggs, good hatch rates can't overcome some hatching a incubating problems!

A proud member of 4h and a strong bearer of the Pacific Northwest and its Cold, not to mention a chicken mommy of 3 Cochins, 1 Sicilian Buttercup, 2 Bantam EE, 1 RIR/EE Mix, 1 Mille Fleur Booted Bantam, and 2 bantam OEGB's, a Black Bearded Silkie and a double laced silver Plymouth Bantam!
Reply
A proud member of 4h and a strong bearer of the Pacific Northwest and its Cold, not to mention a chicken mommy of 3 Cochins, 1 Sicilian Buttercup, 2 Bantam EE, 1 RIR/EE Mix, 1 Mille Fleur Booted Bantam, and 2 bantam OEGB's, a Black Bearded Silkie and a double laced silver Plymouth Bantam!
Reply
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