Incubating/hatching pullet eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by triplepurpose, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Songster

    Oct 13, 2008
    Ive been wondering...

    I understand most people wait a bit after pullets first start laying before collecting hatching eggs. But why is this exactly? Are the smaller eggs just less fertile? Are the chickens that hatch from them stunted or otherwise compromised as adults or just start out a bit smaller?

    With our muscovies I couldnt see anything wrong with the first hatches, and we let them set as soon as they had laid their first clutch...

    Say you wanted to accelerate a breading program to get to your end goal a lot quicker--what if any would be the downsides of breeding the pullets sooner than later?

  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Free Ranging

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in the Universe
    When pullets are beginning to lay, they are still getting everything sorted out and the chances for something to go wrong is much higher than if you waited for them to be more mature.

    Also, if you wait to breed your birds say a year or two, you know that you are breeding the most hardy and healthy because the weak ones already died or got sick. You know that they are not sickly and etc., whereas with a six month old pullet they are really too young to know for sure what they'll be like as an adult.

    If you are breeding for body type, for example, they are not going to show what they will be like as an adult at 6 months. They still need to fill out and mature. They could totally change between then and now.

    I get where you're coming from, though. I've bred pullets that had just begun laying to get a breeding program on a couple times, and I don't think I've had problems related to the mother's age yet. So, if you really need to, do it, but it is much better to wait.
  3. You already got great really want nice sized eggs that are well shelled and healthy for hatching......the better the egg, the better the hatch......

    Best of luck!

  4. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Songster

    Oct 13, 2008
    Alright, that all makes sense to me...

    Thanks for the responses! :)
  5. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Crowing

    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    I am different I guess, As soon as the pullets start laying----I give them a couple weeks then---I set/hatch all of them. They are to small to sell for large eggs but they always hatch out good. I probably hatched a 1000 of them, never been a problem---grew out fine.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I've hatched pullet eggs, first week eggs, rather a friends broody hatched them.
    Chicks were smaller at hatch, but caught up just fine pretty darn quick.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Beer can

    Beer can Free Ranging

    Aug 12, 2014
    Upstate NY
    A lot probably depends on the size of the egg. And probably better to know your setting eggs from your best hens. When it's all you have though...
    I set my Jersey Giants pullet eggs last spring, they were good size eggs, all hatched fine.

  8. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Songster

    Oct 13, 2008
    Thanks! It certainly makes sense to me that pullet eggs would be perfectly viable--hence my curiosity of different people's detailed reasons for doing things differently. Thanks for sharing your experiences--very helpful...

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