Is It Too Late For Hen To Hatch Eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jencp, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. jencp

    jencp Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 2, 2014
    Upstate New York
    I just got some new hens from a farm where they were with Roos. How long with they eggs they lay be fertile eggs? Could the hens hatch chicks this late in the year if I leave them their eggs? I should be able to tell these eggs apart since I got Black Copper Marans and Ameracaunas and my original girls are Comets. It would be really cool if I had chicks but they wouldn't hatch until almost December, and then wouldn't be fully feathered until January sometime. Would the hens actually be able to successfully care for chicks this late? I do not have a heated coop and live in upstate NY. I'm tempted to incubate them myself, but then I have that same problem... They'd outgrow a box before the temps would hit 60. Should I just not entertain the idea and collect the eggs?
     
  2. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    How long ago did you get them? I would not worry about the temperature, especially if the hen broods them herself.
     
  3. jencp

    jencp Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 2, 2014
    Upstate New York
    I just got them today, 11/2.
     
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi

    The eggs could be fertile for up to a couple of weeks I believe, but if you are hoping for the hens to rear them, you would need at least one of them to go broody. At this time of year within the limited time frame you have, that is unlikely.
    Purchasing an incubator and brooder is expensive when you have no guarantee that the eggs are fertile. Running with a cockerel is no guarantee that they will be. My main man is not feeling/acting as virile as usual as he is moulting which is common at this time of year and it will depend on how many hens were in with the rooster when you got them as to how many he might have serviced. Assuming you have the space to raise them indoors until they are old enough to survive without heat, integrating the chicks into your existing flock can be difficult and stressful and you need to be able to monitor them through the day to ensure they are not getting picked on.

    You also need to consider whether you have the space in your coop/run for more adult hens and what you will do with the roosters that hatch. Also, if you incubate and raise them in a brooder, what happens if you only have one hatch and it is on it's own all day. At this time of year it will be difficult to buy some playmate chicks and trying to integrate a single youngster into an existing flock of adult birds is VERY difficult, possibly deadly.

    I would suggest you only go for it if one of the hens turns broody and that way you have no additional outlay and storage of equipment, no real worries with keeping them warm and flock integration and the decision is in the lap of the gods.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    My concern would not be whether or not the hens would be able tohatch them out (assuming that you'd get a broody this late in the year which would be unlikely). I would be more concerned about them not being big enough or feathered out enough to generate enough body heat to stay warm once the hen weans them at around 4 weeks or so.
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My broodies seem to cast them off much younger in the summer when it's warm but keep them close for longer when the weather turns colder. It was about 5 weeks in the summer but they are approaching 8 weeks now and she still has them with her on the roost and of course, they huddle together.

    It's probably hypothetical though as we both agree one of them going broody is unlikely.
     
  7. jencp

    jencp Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 2, 2014
    Upstate New York
    I decided to get an incubator, but I will raise them up myself as no one is broody. I do have the space for them, and have raised from babies before, just haven't hatched anyone out. So far I've only gotten two eggs from the new hens, none from the Ameraucaunas.
     

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