Hatching Eggs in Winter- A Discussion

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sphinx, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Sphinx

    Sphinx Crowing

    May 10, 2010
    I've been reading around that many experts strongly discourage incubating and hatching eggs in winter. Their reasons vary from more males, lower fertility rates, weaker specimens, etc. etc.

    I'm curious to hear what you all think?
  2. the Pollo Loco

    the Pollo Loco Songster

    May 27, 2009
    Santa Cruz,CA
    I like hatching in winter, as this gets me a longer laying season in spring thru fall... seems to working so far. [​IMG]
  3. Reyvaughn

    Reyvaughn Songster

    Mar 10, 2011
    Northeast Pennsylvania
    I've only had chickens for 8 months. This is my first winter and I have 11 eggs due to hatch under a broody next week and I have 11 - 2wk old chicks under another broody. I would not be hatching if my girls weren't raising the the babies. The only reason I decided to let them sit is because all the eggs I want are now available because the breeders aren't hatching them themselves. I would like to get a bit of a head start for spring, too. I'd like to be able to start breeding and selling my own hatching eggs to help recoup some of my funds from this now very expensive venture. If winter hatching doesn't work out like I hope it will this year, I just won't hatch next winter. So far, I haven't had any serious issues.
  4. tinydancer87

    tinydancer87 Songster

    Apr 5, 2011
    SE Georgia
    Well, I have never incubated in the winter until this year, I had a hen go broody so I ordered some eggs for her. Two days before they get here she decides she's done. [​IMG]

    So of course I pulled out the incubator, and had to order a dozen of another breed since I had the room [​IMG]
  5. idispatch4911

    idispatch4911 Chirping

    May 20, 2011
    Southern Utah
    I'll be doing my very first hatch in December once I'm back from a vacation. I hope to have chicks driving me crazy before you can buy them in stores! Then I'll have eggs sooner, etc. That's the plan anyway!
  6. Swissmiss989

    Swissmiss989 Songster

    Jun 5, 2011
    I'm hatching to get a jump on my show stock for the spring. Im doing silkies and it takes 6+ months for their full beauty to show.
  7. greenpeeps

    greenpeeps Songster

    Apr 15, 2009
    Greenford, Ohio
    I'm hatching because of BYC. I found a forum on here that showed how to make an incubator cheap, and since I had some coyote issues this spring, I figured why not. I had one good hatch, and one bad so far. Now I'm on my third and figure It would be nice to hatch some and sell them since it's very hard to find anyone in my area who does this.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I'll do it any time a hen goes broody, winter or summer. The disadvantage to me, since I normally free range, is that the forage is not as good in the winter and I wind up paying more for feed. Otherwise, a winter hatch fits right in with my goals. But I don't incubate in the winter unless I have a broody hen. The power does occasionally go off out here and I would not have a good way to heat a brooder.
    1 person likes this.
  9. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I hatch regularly. I have been on a break (meaning only 20 or 30 eggs in one incubator at a time) this summer, but I'm plugging in the rest of them soon.

    My experience has been that it's difficult to regulate anything less than an Rcom or an Octagon during the time when one is still getting around to turning on one's furnace. Once we're fully in winter it's easier to stabilize things.

    I haven't done any major record-keeping the last two winters, but I can't recall ever having anything but surplus boys...somehow one never gets an all-pullet hatch!
  10. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    Quote:I had great success with ( ducks ) some late hatches this year. Hatched in January they were full grown and looking wonderful for the show season. Here In Australia our show season starts in late March but I dont usually show until the end of May. One of my young drakes hatched in January won Champion waterfowl at a may show and again in July. Hatching too early will leave the young ones molting right in the middle of show season at times.

    I also live in an area where I cant have nearly as many ducks as I would like- so I hatch year round- small numbers over winter- peaking in spring. I pick the best of each setting and sell the extras as I pick them out from those I want to keep to grow out. It also means I always have a supply of eggs. When the older girls take a break for molting- the younger girls are coming into lay.

    For me- it does mean keeping them in the house longer over winter- but I love having them around, and keeping them inside keeps them tamer and more used to being handled.

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