Hatching during winter....

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by me and my marans, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. me and my marans

    me and my marans Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 27, 2009
    I was thinking of putting a few dozen eggs in the bator,
    but I only breed for show quality as i then sell them on as POL,

    I have been breeding for nine years now and have never hatched until the weather gets warmer,
    Do people here find that due to the cold the chicks use there food to keep warm and not into growing??

    Please give me your opinions.....

    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  2. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    I think the chicks grow a bit slower in the winter, especially once I get them into the outside brooders.
  3. aceschix

    aceschix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Forgive me if this is a dumb question...POL???
  4. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    Quote:"Point Of Lay"
  5. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    I'll never hatch late again. My allergies are killing me. Last night I took cough medicine, my inhaler and a decongestant and still thought I was going to have to go to the emergency room. I just can't take all the dander and dust they create.
  6. griffin45

    griffin45 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2008
    South Central Virgina
    I have found that with a couple of light bulbs I can keep the basement of my barn above 40 deg F. OK so not everyone has a barn with a basement in it, but it really helps to get a jump start on spring hens if you can hatch in Nov/Dec. Add a little fat to the the chicks diet or feed them some scrambled eggs. Give them the extra calories to stay warm with plus the normal chick starter and they should devleop at a normal rate.
  7. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    We keep our chicks under heat, so I would say no..growth and food intake are not affected by hatching during winter. It cost us more in electricity to raise them over winter, but that's about it. To me it is worth it to keep our projects moving along and to have new layers for spring.
  8. mandelyn

    mandelyn Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    I'm a fan of fall/winter hatching because the pullets are ready to lay much sooner, and since there aren't many people who have POL pullets around March you can charge a little more for them than you could in June/July.

    You just have to brood them longer, which requires a larger brooder (atleast I do it that way) since they can't go outside until it's warm enough or the coop is warm enough. I should be able to put them outside at 6-8 weeks old, but my coop is double walled 3/4in wood and insulated with the thick pink stuff and there's a light option for additional heat. Course I only hatched 8 total, and kept just 4. I'm not set up for larger numbers in cold weather.

    I'm using a spare bedroom to brood in, and I clean often with the shopvac to keep the dust under control. Never had a dust issue so long as I stayed on keeping it clean. The brooder is covered with a blanket as a roof, which keeps dust in, so I shopvac the whole thing and lay fresh bedding once a week, since they're still little. It will be more frequent as they get bigger and dustier. More work than warm weather brooding, when you can keep them outside in fresh air and you don't have to clean as often... but whatever.
  9. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    It costs alot more to hatch late in the year but the market is void of POL hens in the spring an people will pay when they find them.
  10. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    This is my second year hatching/ brooding over winter, and it may be a pain but it's worth it, for the "getting ahead" in my own generations and in POL pullets and culls for the spring. A POL bird is worth a good bit more in March or April than June/July as was said, that and if I can sell off all my banty culls first thing in Spring, I'm wayyy ahead in the market, and in the money for the next sets of eggs, from bloodlines I need. If I grow over winter come March I know what birds I am keeping.

    If I started hatching in Jan or Feb, I'd be behind in growing out to choose until July/August in some cases. Since culling either silkies or delawares or sizzles before six months is way jumping the gun unless they've frank faults. This way I can work in at least two solidly grown out generations a year and then some. I didn't stop hatching til November. Now everything is growing until Feb/March. I'll do it again next year, likely. I built a brooder in the well house, it's not toasty out there but they've a light and are doing well. The others are in with the banties for the winter. Though some of the Delawares have become giant monsters and may make the big bird coop here shortly.

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