are chances of fertile eggs lower in the cold winter?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by djmooney, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. djmooney

    djmooney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2009
    i figured i will try to hatch some of my hens eggs in my incubator. But its really cold know. my rooster still mates my hen (ALLOT) every second of the day and she,s been laying for a couple of weeks. do you think my chances go down much because its winter and cold, on getting fertile eggs. they are small birds in general (oegb) so the chicks will live inside for a while in my large fish tank until their big enough for my old rabbit cage. Then in the spring i am putting them outside. with the other birds. do you think my chances are good of getting any chicks or am i just wasting my time?
     
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    If they freeze at all they won't hatch. Other than that hatch rates don't seem to be too much lower. I've hatched eggs out of my coop when it was below 0 and I've hatched eggs that had been in my fridge. I wouldn't hold my breath for a perfect hatch from really cold eggs but I wouldn't expect more than a couple less hatching unless the eggs froze any.
     
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    If I were you, I'd wait awhile. If the hen just started laying, her eggs may still be on the smallish size, which could make hatching chicks successfully a little tougher. Why not wait until her eggs have stabilized out in size? Also, it is still three months until Spring and means keeping them inside for a LONG time (integrating them out outdoor winter temps would be tough in Jan/Feb, depending on location). For that reason I would also wait until mid-winter to set the eggs, so that about the time they are old enough to need to be outside, the temps will be warm enough.
     
  4. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    I keep mine inside for 8weeks irregardless of outdoor temps and it takes 3 weeks to hatch plus a week to collect eggs. That gets us 3 months. Although here it still might not be warm enough and my bator isn't moving for another month or 2. Then I'll be trying to get unfrozen eggs to put in it. I really like hatching in winter. They are feathered by spring and ready to lay by midsummer. The only problem is getting the chickens to lay enough and for me to collect not frozen eggs in January when it's -20F out.
     
  5. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Wow. Four weeks inside was enough for me, although mine were pretty much fully feathered at 4 weeks and didn't seem to have a problem adjusting to being outside then! However I agree with the part about them being ready to lay earlier. I've never quite understood the "spring chickens" because you spend all summer feeding them, only to have them mature enough to lay in time for the days to get shorter. I got my chicks in the Fall so they'll be ready to start laying as the days get longer. I guess some of it depends on where in the country the OP is located though, as to when they would be able to go outside.
     

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