1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Egg size = Chicken size?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KyleelyK, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. KyleelyK

    KyleelyK In the Brooder

    May 2, 2017
    Hey, I wanted to incubate some eggs, but some are small. I am aiming for larger chickens. Does the size of the egg determine the overall size of the chicken?
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger Premium Member 5 Years

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    No. Pullet eggs can be small but if they are from a large fowl breed those small eggs (if viable) can produce large chickens.

    I have a small hen that lays extra large to jumbo sized eggs so her great big eggs are not going to produce big chickens. If you want big chickens, hatch eggs that are from a large sized breed of chickens.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
    aart and azygous like this.
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging 8 Years

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    No. But with small eggs, you run a risk of the embryo running out of room to develop and being crushed before it can pip.

    In this case, large is better.
    AUChickenGal and Kusanar like this.

    DR ARNETT Chirping

    Sep 4, 2017
    small chickens-small eggs- largest egg hatched usually largest chicken. large hen w/ small roster larger egg than hen rosters size breed up. or get fertilized black astrolorpe [ can't spell] or even bigger breeds eggs from a friend. best to get nearby as fertilized eggs do not travel well. set ur own biggest eggs first to practice hatching them then get eggs from the big chicken u like. good luck, GBA
  5. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger Premium Member 5 Years

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    From personal experience I can confirm that this is not true. White Leghorns are small chickens but very commonly lay extra large to jumbo sized eggs. Their biggest eggs are easily equal to or bigger than eggs from a Light Brahma. The huge eggs from a purebred White Leghorn will never produce as big a chicken as large eggs from a Light Brahma will produce.
    azygous likes this.
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Hi, welcome to BYC! :frow

    I disagree with the previous poster and DO believe egg size effects overall size of your bird. For this reason I don't hatch pullet eggs.

    Even from the same breed, bigger egg is going to give you a bigger embryo than a smaller egg from the same bird. Bigger embryo equals bigger chick. But they still will be within the range of their breed standard. And hens pass their size to females and males to males. So selecting a larger breeding cock won't give you larger hens, is my understanding. Selecting a larger hen will give you larger females.

    Incubating uniform size eggs are preferred. Forgetting the super large and the super small for hatch-ability.

    To me if you constantly hatch pullet eggs, you will eventually end up with bantam size. But that being said when I think about teenagers and young girls giving birth, it's true the genetic material for size is there no matter what size you start out at. But you may never be able to reach that potential given other environmental factors. Smaller birds need less energy to sustain so will eat less and grow less than it's fatter counterpart... Think premie babies are often underweight for a large part of their lives.

    In other words, hmmm... so many variables and things to consider.

    Most the time the larger eggs (of the same breed) are stronger hatchers in my experience.

    Good question and conversation! :thumbsup
    DR ARNETT likes this.
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    True but a larger leghorn egg will hatch a larger leghorn than a smaller one... right?
  8. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger Premium Member 5 Years

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    It will hatch a larger chick but not likely a larger chicken when fully grown. As you correctly pointed out in your previous post, genetic and environmental factors do apply. Of course hatching a larger chick does give the chick a head start on the smaller ones.
  9. Akrnaf2

    Akrnaf2 The educated Rhino

    Jul 5, 2014
    Center of Israel
    One thing if I may, one should aime to eggs that are roughly the same size because the S/V (surface to volume ratio) is grately depending on the size, and the S/V is one of the most important things that influence on the gas and heat excange from and to the egg.
    The size of the egg is influenced from genetics and the age of the hen.
  10. Chickassan

    Chickassan Crossing the Road

    Personally I think it depends on breed and egg size. Let's use faverolles as an example, big bird small egg no matter what you're getting a big bird even though the egg is small. No way would I attempt hatching a pullet egg off them poor thing mature eggs are already cramped as a Japanese apartment.
    R2elk likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: