I read everything I can about chickens and found this mag in a TSV store a few months ago. It's published in the UK but I was curious to see what was in it. There's one specific article that I had sort of glossed over but something about the article just kept nagging at me. It's entitled "Choices, choices" written by Andy Marshall. I didn't think I should copy it since that can be a crime, it seems! I'm hoping I can talk about things said in the article and get some opinions from those on the site that have experience. I'm not a breeder or a professional exhibitor so maybe that's why this article bothered me. It says that the boys in heavy breeds, should be hatched in January/ February and light breeds should be hatched January to April. Later hatching isn't advised for breeding stock in general as the birds produced often have poor or interrupted growth and don't reach maximum size. This is because they're still growing when autumn arrives so they have to start diverting valuable energy to cope with the worsening weather. The best breeding birds will grow with the season and be in peak condition just when you want them for the breeding pen.
Does this mean that by incubating eggs and hatching them at an "odd" time, I'm messing up their growth and timing? I had never given that a thought before. As long as my chickens were housed warm, dry, comfortable and predator free, I didn't think the time of year they were hatched mattered! Do you plan around the calendar this way? Anyone out there with thoughts on this? Thanks.