pullet eggs & broody ??s

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MomMommyMamma, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2010
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    We're still waiting to actually get eggs, but I have had these questions rolling around in my head...

    Pullet eggs - I've been hearing about "pullet eggs" being the small and/or irregular eggs that a hen may lay when she first begins to lay. A breeder friend said something not hatching chicks from them - needing to wait until the eggs are the right size. Can you elaborate on pullet eggs? Like, how long do they lay these and how will I know when the eggs have reached a size/type that is acceptable for hatching? You can eat pullet eggs right?

    Broody hens - we have some silkies coming soon and although we're very excited about their adorableness, I'm also hoping to use them as live incubators at some point. How old do hens need or tend to be before they go broody? Any tips on getting a hen settled on eggs? If our standard hens will sit, great, but if not and I need to put the eggs under a silkie, how do I go about doing that with success?

    I do have the Chickens for Dummies book (boy do I hate those titles), and we do have some beginner knowldege, just looking for some solid been-there-done-that tips. [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

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    You can hatch pullet eggs, they chicks might be a lot smaller but they will catch up. My chicks from pullets are the same as all the other hens you cannot tell the difference. Hens can go broody very soon after laying, or wait for a year or so if they want to, it depends on the hen.
     
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Hello! Those are good questions. First of all, regarding the pullet eggs, usually, the pullet will lay a small egg at first. That's because she's just started laying, and as time goes on, her eggs will usually get a little larger. You wouldn't want to incubate these smaller than normal eggs, but you can definitely eat them. You'll know when they're the right size to incubate when they have a nice, normal shell, and for a large fowl chicken, the egg could be a medium to large in size. You don't want to incubate an egg that looks just too small, or a super huge one that could be a double yolker, because it's very rare to hatch twin chicks. So just look for a nice shell, that is at least medium to large for the LF chicken. And of course they'll be smaller for bantams.

    Now, broodiness......alot of LF chickens never become broody. There are some that do, but truly, you're at the mercy of the hen for timing. Broodiness is sort of a hormonal thing for hens.....you'll be able to tell because the hen will not want to leave the nest--being obsessed with setting on eggs, and they might hiss or growl at you or fluff up their feathers when you come near them. They may even peck you. Silkie hens are known for their extreme broodiness. I would say this probably wont start for them until after they reach maturity. 20 weeks is the average age for egg laying to begin, and it can take longer. I think silkies are great broodies, but basically, you can't "make" them become broody, you just have to wait for it to happen.

    Hope this helps!
    Sharon
     
  4. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Cool! So, when a silkie hen begins to sit on her eggs, I can switch in larger eggs and that's it?
     

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