Hen for breeding, 2 yr old or pullet, which is better?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by colleensstuff, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. colleensstuff

    colleensstuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    I purchased a pair of Spangled Hamburgs. I have a choice between a 2 year old hen or a pullet hatched late last summer. Assuming they are of equal quality which is better for breeding this year? Would the older hen have fertile eggs sooner, or does it make a difference? Need help deciding before I pick them up on Friday. Thanks for all advice. Colleen
     
  2. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    They are both probably old enough. I would take whichever appeared to fit the standard better. If all other things are equal, take the younger one.
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I read in one chicken "bible" that the two year old hens are already proven as far as egglaying abilities and good health/vigor, so the two year old hens will produce stronger chicks.
     
  4. ghulst

    ghulst Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Always go with the youngest because chickens age fast.You will get the strongest chicks out of the youngest hen.
     
  5. colleensstuff

    colleensstuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    My first thought was to go with the proven breeder, but now I'm not sure. Maybe I can buy both and I won't have to decide! Thanks
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Well, if it was me, I'd pick the younger one, just because of the lifespan of chickens. Even if the older ones are proven breeders, obviously, they will be tapering off on the egglaying sooner than the pullet will. A breeder with a certain goal in mind may hatch chicks from older ones, but for a backyard flock, sure, go with the younger one.

    ***if I could, I wouldn't hesitate to take the older one, too, if she was a great breed example. My three year old hens are still laying very well and have good fertiility.
     
  7. colleensstuff

    colleensstuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    These are a pair I won in an auction on eggbid. They are a color the breeder developed himself. I just had to have them. He's close enough for me to pick them up so I decided to go for it even though I really don't know much about Hamburgs except that I like the way they look. I had just ordered some Silver Spangled chicks from MM when I saw these and fell in love with the color. This is the auction.

    http://www.eggbid.com/listings/details/index.cfm?itemnum=1240031646
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Nice color! Congratulations!
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Beautiful birds. Congratulations from me too.....
     
  10. colleensstuff

    colleensstuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks, I'm really excited. I've decided to get the pullet and he has a gold spangled split to the cream color and another cream that I can buy if I want to. Thanks for everyone's advice. Colleen
     

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