hatching in the "off" season

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by the simple life, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am wondering about something someone said to me recently regarding hatching chicks in the "off" season.
    She told me that the time to hatch chickens is between march and June.
    She said if you hatch in the other months they won't be good layers.

    I am not sure I really understand that.
    From what I could gather, she feels that if you hatch after June the resulting offspring won't lay until the following spring.

    Normally they lay around 5-6 months, but that would bring them into the end of fall, beginning of winter.
    Is it that since they mature during the winter, which is a tougher time with the cold and the shorter daylight hours that they will not lay until the spring?

    Is this accurate information?
     
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    They may start laying after 5 or 6 months but it will take awhile for them to mature enough to lay consistently and normal sized eggs. The first few eggs are called pullet eggs and are much smaller, sometimes odd shaped, sometimes not fully formed, etc... It takes the hens some time to settle down and get everything straightened out so they can lay normal eggs everyday. If you hatch them too late part of the spring might be wasted on laying pullet eggs. That might be important if you were concentrating on getting as many eggs as possible and only keeping your laying birds for a year or 2 during their peak laying years before butchering them but since I plan on keeping my birds long term with years of laying and eggs aren't my top priority I didn't see a point waiting until spring and not having eggs until the following year when I could start getting eggs by next summer. I hatched my first ones in july and my 2nd ones 4weeks ago. The only real problem I see with hatching late is that we have pretty severe winters and my last hatch is just barely going to be feathered before it turns cold. It's already been down around 40F at night here.
     
  3. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Land of Lincoln
    Never saw this a problem......its mostly out of convience and how much you are willing to spend on electric bill for your heaters.

    I hatch anytime and any season for the eggs without any problems. However financially its a problem [​IMG] who wants to pay HIGH electric brooding lights going on during the holidays LOL!
     

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