Maturity of hen for using eggs to hatch.


In the Brooder
6 Years
Nov 13, 2013
I apologize if this question has been asked before, but I couldn't find any responses for this "burning question"!

How long should a hen be laying before I use her eggs in an incubator? I have a young Cream Legbar and some Ameraucana pullets and will eventually want to hatch some of their eggs. I have one of each rooster too, so looking forward to hatching more of these two breeds!

I would guess (got a rooster when my hens where at about 8 months) to be safe 4 months but I'm not sure
I put my pullet eggs in the incubator occasionally, sometimes they hatch, sometimes they don't. Some people will say to wait a few months to let the eggs gain some size and shell quality. Then there are those, like me, that just pop whatever into the bator and wait and see what happens...
As long as the eggs are a decent size and not particularly narrow shaped or porous, they should be just fine. Young layers are more likely to lay double yolked or no yolked eggs, so candle them to check for that first. Your fertility rates may be low until your rooster gets "it" figured out. Good luck!
We did our first hatch from our flock at about 6.5 months. We didn't know hat are success rate would be as it has been our first time. We set 2 dozen eggs some small and pointy. To our surprise we had 3 that didn't hatch, and 1 that didn't make it... so now we are 4x'ing the size of our flock.
The reasoning for waiting for the eggs to get to proper size is a small egg will produce a small chick that will stay runty for that breed it's entire life. Poor quality birds which will in turn lay less eggs are not worth the few months sooner hatching chicks for most people. They'd rather wait 2-3 months from start of lay until the eggs are stable size and produce a better bird that you'll keep for years.

I only hatch in early spring so have never had to worry about pullet eggs as they are nearly a year old by then.
Last edited:
I think we had the perfect storm. Our chickens started laying at 5 months, they are a diverse bunch. 1 leghorn, 2 orp mixes, 2 red mixes and another black tan egg layer mix. They are all daily layers, and our barred rock roo is very diligent in his duty. We feed them good nutreana food and free range them every night letting them get tons of bugs and wide variety of greens. As this is our first run we may have been lucky. Our big problem is figuring out which ones to keep.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom