Hen's age vs. Hatchability

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ckhd, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. ckhd

    ckhd In the Brooder

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    Sep 17, 2018
    St. Johns, AZ
    Hi everyone,

    I have an older hen. To be honest, I don't know how old, I just know her previous owner's mother said, "Oh, my gosh, is she still laying?".

    She is a beautiful, sweet hen and I want to have more of her, so I tried to hatch three of her eggs. None made it past about day 8 (judging by their development and size). I had eggs from a younger hen in that batch that made it all the way.

    I have to assume that my old hen's age played a role in those three quitting.

    My questions are:
    1) How much does it influence hatching? Am I wasting my time trying to hatch her eggs?
    2) Are there tricks to get an older hen's egg hatch?
     
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Age heavily influences hatch-ability according to research... but if you have the time, energy, and space... it doesn't hurt to try!

    Boost nutrition... a good two- three weeks before you are set to start collecting eggs to hatch.

    Use a non medicated starter at 22% protein (shown highest hatch rates) or a 20% protein flock raiser with oyster shell on the side, if you are currently using 16% "layer". Please note that not all proteins are created equal and chickens NEED some amino acids derived from only animal sources. These are added into the feed most of us buy that are vegetarian formulations.

    Try something like Rooster Booster (brand name) Poultry Cell (product) would be my first choice... second choice maybe poultry nutri drench.

    Skip low nutrient snacks like scratch.

    My favorite hatching resource, which include reasons for quitting around page 52...
    https://www.hubbardbreeders.com/media/incubation_guideen__053407700_1525_26062017.pdf

    As we get older our bodies become less efficient at processing things. So even if you are providing adequate nutrition normally... these are my best suggestions to increase hatch rate due to suspected age related issues. :)

    Happy hatching! :fl:jumpy:jumpy

    Congrats on your other babies. :celebrate
     
  3. ckhd

    ckhd In the Brooder

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    35
    Sep 17, 2018
    St. Johns, AZ
    That makes a lot of sense. I'll do diet changes, then gather a clutch from her in a few weeks and try again. Hopefully it gets her where she needs to be.
     
  4. ckhd

    ckhd In the Brooder

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    16
    35
    Sep 17, 2018
    St. Johns, AZ
    I actually have a follow-up question.

    My chickens free range quite a bit. I'd bet they get at least half their food from scratching around for it. I have feed available 24/7, and they do eat from there. Is free ranging something I should stop while I'm trying to boost her up so I know she's eating only the higher protein feed, or is the free ranging a good thing for her?
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    If she is healthy and laying..The Rooster breeds her then the eggs are fine to hatch..
     
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    I recently hatched some eggs from my 10 year old hen, so I think it all depends on the hen. :idunno
     
    EggSighted4Life likes this.
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    I would continue to free range, personally.

    My mother in love (law) says when you get stressed... bad hormones coming makes cancer. Happy brings happy hormones. :confused:
     
    casportpony likes this.

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