Pullet egg hatching?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jak2002003, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    Is it possible to hatch out healthy chicks from the smaller eggs that a pullet makes?

    Can the chick fit into the small egg - and if it hatches and grown up will it be small for its breed?

    At the moment I have a pullet that is laying each day small eggs and its a colour I want more of as she is my one black tail white. I have a hen just gone broody on some eggs today and wanted to put this pullets eggs under her.

    Think its a good idea?
     
  2. outdoorsii

    outdoorsii Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I hatched a batch successfully in my incubator from eggs from my 9 month old golden laced wyandottes :) they seemed fine, their eggs at the time only weighed about 1.6-1.8 ounces, now they're laying 2.0oz eggs....& I hatched a Jersey giant out of a 1.3oz egg (so it was a bantam size egg from 9 month old parents who had just started laying), she is now 4 months old & she's normal size same as my australorps, so she might be on the small side right now, but I don't think it eventually affects their growth
     
  3. Chambertin

    Chambertin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also curious about this.
    I figure its better to wait a while, but the eggs have been the same size for a month or more and are larger than when she started.

    Going to look around about this and see if I find anything.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Is it possible? Yes, absolutely. Many of us have done it. Will you be as successful with little pullet eggs as you would be if you wait? Maybe, maybe not. There are things that can go wrong, but remember there is often a big difference in what can happen versus what will happen.

    A lot of things have to be right in an egg for it to hatch. All the bits and parts need to be there and in the right proportion. It’s not unusual for a pullet to take a while to straighten out her laying factory. That’s where all those posts about a pullet’s weird first eggs come from, those no-yolk, double yolk, small, large, soft, shell-less, and all that.

    It’s not unusual for a pullet to lay a really hard egg. The shell gland makes enough shell material for a regular sized egg and it gets laid on really thick on those tiny pullet eggs. I have one right now that the shell is fine but the membrane under the shell it really tough. A chick might have trouble poking a hole in that membrane before it got to the shell.

    If the egg yolk is too large for the size of egg the chick may develop so big it can’t move inside the egg to hatch. If it is too small, the chick will likely be weak and not do well, maybe not be strong enough to hatch or may die shortly after.

    With all I’ve said about what can go wrong, I still do it if the egg the pullet is laying looks reasonably well proportioned and nothing stands out about it as presenting a specific threat. Then I might reconsider. I’ve done it and been pretty successful, though I usually wait two or three weeks after the pullet starts before I start to collect eggs for hatching. Don’t be totally shocked if your hatch rate isn’t perfect or if a chick has trouble after it hatches, but if it makes it past the first 24 hours, it should do well. I’m sure there are plenty of people that have done it and had perfect success, and I hope you are one of them, but your odds of perfection are a bit lower with pullet eggs.

    I’ll be putting some pullet eggs in the incubator at the end of this month, but they will have been laying for a few weeks by the time I start collecting.

    Will the smaller chicks that hatch reach “normal” size? Good question. They have the same genetics so they have the same potential and their offspring should have the same potential. But I’ve noticed a tendency for mine to always be a bit smaller than their regular siblings if they are fed the same. I raise mine mainly for meat so it’s hard for me to say how productive one is as an adult. Mine generally don’t make it that far but I’d expect them to be as productive. Can’t say for sure though.
     
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I've hatched pullet eggs that I thought were from my hen (didn't even know my pullets started laying) but was surprised by the chick's appearance. It was from a red sex link, and not from my barred rock as I originally thought. They had just started laying, and their chicks hatched no problem, but RSLs start laying regular sized eggs for the most part, but I have seen hens that start really small. Those small eggs shouldn't be hatched, as the chick inside doesn't always make it to hatch.

    But like Ridgerunner mentioned, if the egg does not stand out as too big or two small or oddly formed, you may have no problem at all.
     
  6. SilkieSensation

    SilkieSensation Overrun With Chickens

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    I always set the first several eggs my girls lay to check for fertility. I've had MANY healthy babies from pullet eggs. As long as they are fertile they have pretty good chances. The problem I usually run into is that they often aren't fertile right when the girls start laying. Only way to find out is to set the eggs & give it a chance. As for the babies being smaller later, I really haven't noticed a difference in mine from 1 generation to the next. They all have a little variance from each other, but I really can't say the babies from the pullet eggs end up any smaller than future siblings in the long run.
     
  7. what did I do

    what did I do Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I walked into the older chicken's coop one day with @4 pullet eggs in my hand. I saw that my hen that just went broody was sitting on a bunch of eggs that most likely were not fertile. I took her eggs and told her to sit on the pullet eggs. Three hatched. The chicks were small with tiny legs. She hatched them in the fall and we had some very cold days, the chicks did just fine. Now they are 5 months old and almost normal size. We are thrilled with them.
     
  8. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for all your replies. I think I am going to try putting the best 4 under the broody with some of her own eggs.

    The pullet has been laying just over one week - I have 5 eggs form her. The first egg looks quite 'long'' and not the perfect shape - so I'll not try that one. All the rest look normal, just smaller.

    I will see how it goes.[​IMG]
     
  9. SilkieSensation

    SilkieSensation Overrun With Chickens

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    Good luck! Keep us posted.
     
  10. Chambertin

    Chambertin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck, I'll be waiting to hear more.
    Looking forward to reading more and then testing out my girls too.
    I'll be really curious to see what a Houdan Silkie mix looks like.
     

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