NH Red Hen Laying/ Incubation Question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ACTWESTWING, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. ACTWESTWING

    ACTWESTWING Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2012
    Hey! I have 3 NH Red Hens I got March of 2012 along with a NH Red Rooster. The hens were 18 weeks old when bought and started laying a couple days ago.. i know the eggs are fertile but how long should i wait before i can incubate the eggs?!

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You'll enjoy the New Hampshires, of that I am sure. I'd give those birds a few more weeks to mature, frankly. I'd collect eggs over a 6-8 day period. Most times, the eggs remain viable for up to 10 days, but why push the envelope.
    You've witnessed the rooster mounting the pullets regularly?

    P.S. While commonly (mis)used, the "red" is not in the name of the New Hampshire.

    I'd love to see the chicks that result. Enjoy your adventure.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
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  3. ACTWESTWING

    ACTWESTWING Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes the Rooster has been mounting regularly! So middle of march i will start saving the eggs to incubate! it will be my first batch ever! Would hatching eggs that late be a bad idea?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with Fred. It's best to wait a few weeks. It sometimes takes those pullets a few weeks to get the kinks out of their internal egg laying factory. Give them a little time to stabilize the eggs and get them right.

    Why are you concerned about it being "late" to incubate? A hen will go broody at any time and hatch chicks. You can hatch and raise chicks any month of the year. It may take a different set-up to raise them at different times of the year, but it can be done.

    There can be legitimate concerns about when to hatch for different people, depending on their circumstances and goals. For example, if you are trying to get chickens ready for a specific show, you might need to hatch them in the winter so they will be a good age, depending on when the show is. But why do you think it might be a problem for you?
     
  5. ACTWESTWING

    ACTWESTWING Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2012
    I was wanting to sell them! and most people only buy chicks in April which was why that was a concern.. I have 19 pullets right now (if they all make it) and just recently purchased an incubator and wanted to hatch out my own to sell. Right now the only breed I have thats laying is the NH so i wanted to do a test run so that next spring I would be ready!
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If you have good NH chicks, trust me, folks will want them all the time. NO worries. [​IMG]
     

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