Large eggs vs small eggs?


Stares at Chickens
10 Years
May 6, 2009
Northern California
My Coop
My Coop
Do you find that small eggs hatch first and before the larger eggs? I have both pullet eggs and very large hen eggs in the bator right now. Most of the pullet eggs have pipped or are hatching, but the larger eggs haven't even pipped yet. If I remember correctly the last time I incubated smaller pullet eggs most hatched first before larger eggs.

Do you think this could be due to the smaller air sack size in the small eggs?
I wasn't planning on incubating these pullet's eggs until they reached a good size, but I lost my favorite pullet to a coyote. Her and her sisters were also was hatched from pullet eggs that were the result of a specific cross made by another breeder and the borrowed roo needed to go home. The pullets were all very healthy and grew well. So, I hope these turn out ok as well.
But, I have a feeling that the first 3 to hatch are cockerels.
I sort of agree with this. I've hatched from larger eggs (9 month old pullets and older) and the little pullet eggs (20 week old pullets). I know I have not done this often enough for this to be scientifically proven and the conditions were different for each hatch, but I found the hatch rate was about the same for both. I found the chick mortality rate was quite a bit higher from the small pullet eggs. That means several chicks from the small pullet eggs died before they were 24 hours old while the chicks from the larger eggs did not die at anywhere near the same rate. When they hatched, the chicks from the small eggs were smaller than the chicks from the larger eggs. That makes sense because there are not as many nutrients in the small eggs for the chicks to grow as much during incubation. The genetics were about the same for each batch of chicks, but I'm not sure the smaller chicks will ever catch up in size with the larger chicks. Mine are not that old yet.

The ones that did make it past the 24-hour barrier appear to be as active and healthy as the chicks from the larger chicks were, but I am not convinced they will grow out as big at the end of the day.

You will read posts from people on here that have had success with the smaller eggs. I personally will not be trying that again.
I have hatched out and kept 5 White Leghorn/Jersey Giant hens from my JG rooster and WL hens. I hatched 4 of them out last fall.....the WL hens had only been laying a few week or a month before I set these and hatched them. Sold all the boys and kept the girls as layers.

This spring I used a single WL egg as 'test egg' in a batch of darker eggs. The big white leghorn eggs are easily to candle and ALWAYS fertile, so they are a good comparison on the other eggs. This hatched out another hen......she is now "grown up" and MUCH bigger than her "sisters" from last year's hatch. Not sure if it was because of the larger eggs or just a genetic thing. But she looks the same, acts the same....but is quite a bit bigger. The eggs were definitely bigger now than last year......
I just re-read this Florida article and thought I'd come back to this question. If you look through it, it mentions different problems with hatching that can be caused by small eggs and pullet eggs, not necessarily the same thing but with pullet eggs the problems may be compounded. It also mentions a few things that can go wrong if the eggs are extra large. The obvious answer is to set eggs that are normal sized. The way I read this is that they are talking about eggs that are standard sized for that breed, not the differences in egg size due to the different breeds laying different sized eggs. I'd expect a regular sized bantam egg to hatch the same as a regular sized large fowl egg, but I may be wrong in my interpretation.

Florida Incubation Troubleshooting

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom