Fertile eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by cat, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. cat

    cat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I picked up some pol birds and noticed when I collected them that they were in with a cockerel. How long after being away from the cockerel will the eggs they lay be fertile? I have a broody silkie and just wondering if it's worth putting their first day or two's eggs under her.
     
  2. WalnutHill

    WalnutHill Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    You should be fine putting the first weeks' worth under her.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    If they've mated, the eggs can be fertile for as long as 3 or 4 weeks.
    That said, there are often fertility problems with young birds and pullet eggs shouldn't be incubated because they're too small from a size and available nutrition standpoint.
     
  4. cat

    cat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, I did not know that.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    There's just not much room for a growing chick in a pullet egg. There is also a limited amount of nutrition. A mammal embryo can get more nutrition from the mother and the size of the abdomen is variable. An egg is finite once it is laid for both space and food.

    People do hatch pullet eggs all the time. I see it in hatch-a-longs. I just recommend against it.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    True. However, best practice is not always the only way to go. If this person now has fertile eggs, and has no rooster available, and wants to hatch some eggs, it would be a viable solution. The better choice might be to get some eggs from more mature hens from a local farm. Also, for the breeder who's working on getting in as many generations as possible to develop his strain, he may choose to incubate pullet eggs so he can produce 2 generations in a year. A breeder might also choose to set pullet eggs as an insurance policy to maintain the genetic material if he has a limited number of birds in his breeding program. I've heard that chicks from small eggs soon catch up to those from larger eggs, assuming that the genetic potential is there.
     

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