Breeding - How Soon is Too Soon?

Coopa Cabana

My Coop Runneth Over . . .
10 Years
Aug 30, 2009
3,236
82
261
Colorado
My Coop
RE: Bantam Cochins
Is is possible to start breeding your pullets and cockerels at too early an age? Basically, if you start breeding at too young an age, can it affect the growth rate, health, quality, etc. of the chicks to be hatched? Will I notice any difference with the chicks if I start breeding as soon as possible, say at 6 - 7 months, or is it better to wait until they are 8 - 9 months old, or does it matter at all? Hope this makes sense!
 

tammyd57

Songster
9 Years
Feb 12, 2010
1,108
13
151
Central Valley, California
With the breeds I have raised over the years, I have found that I get the best offspring if I don't breed until one year of age. The hens make better broodies and mothers by then too and I don't have to incubate.
 

pgpoultry

Songster
10 Years
Oct 16, 2009
2,290
37
191
Wales
I would agree that fully mature birds are the best. However, two hopelessly broody Brahma hens of mine who had only laid about 10 eggs each have hatched lovely good-sized chicks, so they can come up trumps.
Best to let hens grow to their maximum size first, if you can persuade you "teenage mum' about this!,
Sandie
 

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