I read in Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens that it is best to wait six weeks after a hen begins laying before breeding. This is supposed to make for better fertility and stronger chicks. Two of my 6 1/2 month old Speckled Sussex hens started laying today. I am probably not going to be able to wait six weeks. High fertility rates are not a matter of concern, since I'm not selling the eggs, but I do want the chicks to be strong and healthy. Has anyone else ever heard of waiting before breeding like this?