OK I know these are some dumb questions but...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Cara, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    I don't know the answer! I just started out keeping chickens this year, and now they're all maturing I am confused! Do chickens mate year round, and just become broody in the spring/summer? Will the eggs be fertile year round? Why are people who sell fertile eggs generally slowing down now? I guess what i'm getting at is can I hatch eggs from my hens in an incubator year round, if I have somewhere warm to keep the babies? And is it possible to buy eggs from some sources year round? I don't want to buy my first incubator then have months to wait until I can use it! This chicken habit is addictive.
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Chickens do mate year round but when they are stressed in heat, cold, or moulting, they are less fertile. Hens can become broody whenever, but most commonly summer. Eggs will be fertile year round with the right rooster ratio, fertility levels may fluxuate. You can hatch year round.
  3. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    I can tell you with the right conditions and roo-to-hen ratio, fertility can be excellent all year long. This will be our first year not hatching over winter (at least that's the plan LOL). I have hatched every year right through winter and maintained brooders in my basement/garage and nurseries outside in the dead of winter without any problems although it is a lot of work. My plan this year is to give the brooder lamps a break and myself, which is much needed. Although if you want to get a jump start on next season's plans, hatching is ideal to do throughout.

  4. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    Thank you so much for your help. I think I will try hatching some Orpingtons and Cochins, husband permitting!

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