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How young is to young

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Rainier, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. Rainier

    Rainier Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thurston County, WA
    We got some chicks on April 4. We are not exactly sure of the hatch date and they varied in age from day old to two weeks old. The hens are now 4 1/2 - 5 months old. They have started laying consistently, every day one egg each for the last three weeks. The eggs are small but the shells are great and they taste great.

    After looking over some pictures of fertilized eggs (we do have roos) I realized that the eggs are fertilized. At what point can you start to hatch the eggs? Is there a set age at which point the fertilized eggs would actually have a chance on hatching? Because the eggs are small and the hens are young I think that we have to wait at least several months (probably spring) before we could hatch out any of the eggs. My thought was the eggs are so small that any developing chick would stop due to lack of space. My daughter however wants me to check with the eggsperts!

    So what do you guys/gals think?

    ETA
    http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h...5-f264-48dd-8944-6ac128e2f898_zpsdb365feb.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  2. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just finished a hatch with mostly pullet eggs, out of the 17 that made it to lockdown (3 double Yolkers, 3 Clears 1 quitter and a cracked egg I didn't notice until candling) all hatched perfectly save the very last one, I had to assist. They are all healthy and vigorous, sold all of them today :)

    As a general rule, I wait until they have been laying for two or three months and their eggs are closer to normal size, maybe 3/4 the size what they will lay at a year old. The last egg that hatched was the smallest of the bunch, poor baby piped and then sat for 24 hours, didn't make anymore progress so I expanded its hole, no blood so I kept going, it was wedged so tight it couldn't rotate... It was touch and go for a few hours after hatching but was up eating and drinking this morning.. If you should have issues, that will be it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  3. Rainier

    Rainier Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm guessing that in two or three months they will not be laying as that would be Oct/Nov. Looking more and more like spring, which is what I told my daughter but what do I know ... I'm only mom lol
     
  4. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pullets that just start laying in Late summer or fall generally will lay pretty well throughout the winter...
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm currently hatching out some young newbie eggs, didn't try incubating any of the double yolks, figured it was more novel then practical on those...

    So far for the small newbie eggs that I have incubated this year about 90% hatched, chicks are a little small at hatch but quickly gaining size...
     
  6. Rainier

    Rainier Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have seen some dramatic (at least to me) changes in the flock since we culled out the roos. Out of 20 chicks we ended up with 8 hens. The roosters that were really aggressive about mating we culled. We also sent to freezer camp the ones that attacked us (on Production Red) who left bruises and broke the skin on us.

    We are now down to the hens, one BR roo and two banty roos who are very predator aware and warn the hens.

    The hens before would hide in the large bush/tree we have in the run. They ran from the roosters if they got near them and overall (looking back now) were too stressed. I'm surprised we got any eggs at all. Now they roam all over the yard and are not so skittish. The BR roo calls the hens when he finds something to eat and never chases them away from food like the other roos did. This morning when I took fresh water out he called the hens to the water. Overall I think I'm seeing what a good rooster should be doing for the hens and I'm glad we sent the others to freezer camp. I'm pretty sure the hens are happy too!

    Other than being small the eggs are perfect. Perfect shells and they taste great too :)

    These eggs are smaller (length) than a bic lighter which is why I asked about how young is to young.

    Nice to know that they might lay even through the winter. We live in WA (near Tacoma) so we have pretty mild winters.

    We don't have an incubator and all of these questions where in advance. We do want to hatch out some of our own eggs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  7. Rainier

    Rainier Chillin' With My Peeps

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    good luck on your hatch.
     

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