When is the best time to hatch chicks from a laying hen?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by warhorse, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. warhorse

    warhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does it matter the age of the hen when is best to incubate eggs? Is a younger hen more likely to have better clutches hatch out than older ones? Is there a minimum age a hen should be before her eggs are incubated?

    I have a young pullet who started out early, like 5 month inthe middle of winter, laying a HUGE brown egg daily. I was expecting "first eggs" to be on the small side, but hers have always been jumbo. Will they get bigger as she ages? She is a black sex link. Is there any chance her egglaying will be inherited if I hatch out chicks from those eggs? I also have some red-x hens who lay a large egg but not nearly as big as hers, and they are the same age.
     
  2. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The sex link is a hybrid so they do not hatch other sex link hens.
    So for example, let's say the red sex link is developed by breeding a Rhode Isand Red rooster over a White Rock hen so the chicks from a red sex link will have genes from both the RIR and WR. So when the hen mates with a red sex link rooster the genes can be any combination of RIR and WR. (I don't know how a red sex link is developed this just a example).
    So the chicks from your sex link may or may not be as a prolific layer as your sex links.
    What type of rooster do you have with them?
     
  3. warhorse

    warhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:My question had nothing to do with how to make sex links or anything about breed. I'm sorry if by stating the breed of the hen that confused the issue. My question was simply "what is the optimal age at which hens' eggs should be incubated?" Are young pullets/ hens' eggs more likely to have healthier hatches than older hens' eggs?
     
  4. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have read thet pullet eggs have harder shells and their sometimes pointed end make it more difficult for chicks to hatch. However, I decided to try it anyway with a batch of pullet eggs this Feb. and had a hatch rate of 85%. So, I guess they hatch just fine.[​IMG]
     
  5. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    I have younger hens also, and the first eggs I got were pretty big! I have barred rock, cucko marons, columbian, silver laced wyondottes, rhode island reds, and I got some really big round eggs, 2 a day, I it comes from one of my barred rocks, and it is huge, and round!!
    some pullets do start out with smaller eggs, and with time through a few weeks they get bigger.

    I think hatching the eggs they say to hatch a fair sized eggs, we only got a few little tiny pullet eggs. I have hatched lots of eggs and usually I try to hatch the ones that are not huge, but just large.
    I am not sure if it matters about them being too big, but the big round ones are really big!!!
    and when I crack them they seem to have more white than the other eggs.
    good luck with your hatching!
     
  6. jnjross

    jnjross Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    edwards, ms
    i started hatching from my stock when they were 6 month old, and had 100%
     
  7. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I start hatching when a hen gets broody. This year one of my younger hens started it out, she is probably 11 months. I put other hen's eggs under her as well. Whichever ones I think will hatch or I want to try and hatch. I have a tiny hen, that the (standard) rooster seems to leave alone. I don't put those eggs under the broody hen, because I don't think they are fertile.
    I think once a hen has been laying for a few weeks and there is a rooster around to take care of business, you should have a good hatch rate on the eggs.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Is there any chance her egglaying will be inherited if I hatch out chicks from those eggs? \\

    I think others have answered the age question.

    Selective breeding is all about picking the traits you want and reproducing from the hens that exhibit those traits. It may take several generations before you get consistent results, if ever. The normal recommendations are to hatch from average sized eggs, not the smallest and not the largest. If these eggs are the average size for this hen and are not double-yolked, then they should hatch OK.
     
  9. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    I think that the egg laying depends on the breed. I know when you look in the catalogs, they usually say.
    good layer, fair layer, etc...
    different breeds are just better layers.
     
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Quote:My question had nothing to do with how to make sex links or anything about breed. I'm sorry if by stating the breed of the hen that confused the issue. My question was simply "what is the optimal age at which hens' eggs should be incubated?" Are young pullets/ hens' eggs more likely to have healthier hatches than older hens' eggs?

    I misunderstood your question also.
     

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