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When is the best time to hatch chicks from a laying hen?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Does it matter the age of the hen when is best to incubate eggs?  Is a younger hen more likely to have better clutches hatch out than older ones?  Is there a minimum age a hen should be before her eggs are incubated?

I have a young pullet who started out early, like 5 month inthe middle of winter, laying a HUGE brown egg daily.  I was expecting "first eggs" to be on the small side, but hers have always been jumbo.  Will they get bigger as she ages?  She is a black sex link.  Is there any chance her egglaying will be inherited if I hatch out chicks from those eggs?  I also have some red-x hens who lay a large egg but not nearly as big as hers, and they are the same age.

post #2 of 11

The sex link is a hybrid so they do not hatch other sex link hens.
  So for example, let's say the red sex link is developed by breeding a Rhode Isand Red rooster over a White Rock hen so the chicks from a red sex link will have genes from both the RIR and WR.  So when the hen mates with a red sex link rooster the genes can be any combination of RIR and WR.  (I don't know how a red sex link is developed this just a example).
So the chicks from your sex link may or may not be as a prolific layer as your sex links.
What type of rooster do you have with them?

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter147 

The sex link is a hybrid so they do not hatch other sex link hens.
  So for example, let's say the red sex link is developed by breeding a Rhode Isand Red rooster over a White Rock hen so the chicks from a red sex link will have genes from both the RIR and WR.  So when the hen mates with a red sex link rooster the genes can be any combination of RIR and WR.  (I don't know how a red sex link is developed this just a example).
So the chicks from your sex link may or may not be as a prolific layer as your sex links.
What type of rooster do you have with them?


My question had nothing to do with how to make sex links or anything about breed.  I'm sorry if by stating the breed of the hen that confused the issue.  My question was simply "what is the optimal age at which hens' eggs should be incubated?"  Are young pullets/ hens' eggs more likely to have healthier hatches than older hens' eggs?

post #4 of 11

I have read thet pullet eggs have harder shells and their sometimes pointed end make it more difficult for chicks to hatch.  However, I decided to try it anyway with a batch of pullet eggs this Feb. and had a hatch rate of 85%.  So, I guess they hatch just fine.tongue

post #5 of 11

I have younger hens also, and the first eggs I got were pretty big! I have barred rock, cucko marons, columbian, silver laced wyondottes, rhode island reds, and I got some really big round eggs, 2 a day, I it comes from one of my barred rocks, and it is huge, and round!!
some pullets do start out with smaller eggs, and with time through a few weeks they get bigger.

I think hatching the eggs they say to hatch a fair sized eggs, we only got a few little tiny pullet eggs. I have hatched lots of eggs and usually I try to hatch the ones that are not huge, but just large.
I am not sure if it matters about them being too big, but the big round ones are really big!!!
and when I crack them they seem to have more white than the other eggs.
good luck with your hatching!

post #6 of 11

i started hatching from my stock when they were 6 month old, and had 100%

Death is the standard breech for a complex prize - Deftones- (never more true than with chickens)

I NEED MORE COW BELL!

Yeah, I'm still around and still raising chickens.

lets face it if I changed my avatar now it'd just be wierd!

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Death is the standard breech for a complex prize - Deftones- (never more true than with chickens)

I NEED MORE COW BELL!

Yeah, I'm still around and still raising chickens.

lets face it if I changed my avatar now it'd just be wierd!

Reply
post #7 of 11

I start hatching when a hen gets broody. This year one of my younger hens started it out, she is probably 11 months. I put other hen's eggs under her as well. Whichever ones I think will hatch or I want to try and hatch. I have a tiny hen, that the (standard) rooster seems to leave alone. I don't put those eggs under the broody hen, because I don't think they are fertile.
I think once a hen has been laying for a few weeks and there is a rooster around to take care of business, you should have a good hatch rate on the eggs.

Backyard chicken keeper since 1992.
"An' ye harm none, do what ye will. What ye send forth comes back to thee, so ever mind the law of three. Follow this with mind and heart, Merry ye meet, and merry ye part."
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Backyard chicken keeper since 1992.
"An' ye harm none, do what ye will. What ye send forth comes back to thee, so ever mind the law of three. Follow this with mind and heart, Merry ye meet, and merry ye part."
Reply
post #8 of 11

Is there any chance her egglaying will be inherited if I hatch out chicks from those eggs?  \\

I think others have answered the age question. 

Selective breeding is all about picking the traits you want and reproducing from the hens that exhibit those traits.  It may take several generations before you get consistent results, if ever.  The normal recommendations are to hatch from average sized eggs, not the smallest and not the largest.  If these eggs are the average size for this hen and are not double-yolked, then they should hatch OK.

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #9 of 11

I think that the egg laying depends on the breed. I know when you look in the catalogs, they usually say.
good layer, fair layer, etc...
different breeds are just better layers.

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhorse 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter147 

The sex link is a hybrid so they do not hatch other sex link hens.
  So for example, let's say the red sex link is developed by breeding a Rhode Isand Red rooster over a White Rock hen so the chicks from a red sex link will have genes from both the RIR and WR.  So when the hen mates with a red sex link rooster the genes can be any combination of RIR and WR.  (I don't know how a red sex link is developed this just a example).
So the chicks from your sex link may or may not be as a prolific layer as your sex links.
What type of rooster do you have with them?


My question had nothing to do with how to make sex links or anything about breed.  I'm sorry if by stating the breed of the hen that confused the issue.  My question was simply "what is the optimal age at which hens' eggs should be incubated?"  Are young pullets/ hens' eggs more likely to have healthier hatches than older hens' eggs?


I misunderstood your question also.

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HEY LOOK!!!
UPCOMING FLORIDA Swaps/Sales/Shows/Events
---> Florida Fair Schedule 2013/2014 and; FLORIDA!!!!!ALWAYS SUNNY SIDE UP!!!
Heritage Single Comb & Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds and Rose Comb Rhode Island Whites.

Member of the American Poultry Association, the Rhode Island Red Club of America, &

Central Florida Poultry Breeders Association. NPIP Certified Participant

Reply
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