Why do most only hatch eggs in the Spring ?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by EM Squared Farms, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. EM Squared Farms

    EM Squared Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2011
    Ft. Pierce, FL
    I was wondering why most people hatch out their chickies only in the Spring and not other times of the year ?

    It is because that's when the weather warms up and the hens start laying eggs again ?

    Since we're in sunny FL, our winters are very mild. So, our hens do lay eggs even in the winters, just not as many.

    We were thinking of starting to hatch out just a few more eggs. It seems one breed is getting pretty popular as a desired breed that a lot seem to want (our maran hens).

    So, to play it safe, my husband wanted to keep a back up hen and actually have more egg laying maran hens for more chocolate-colored eggs. Plus we do owe the previous owner of the pair a hen in exchange for the pair.

    We might be selling our last 2 maran pullets today. And if she doesn't buy 2, another lady is calling tomorrow to check if one pullet is still available.

    So we decided to start hatching out maybe 10 more maran eggs (to hopefully get 5 hens). It would be nice to get some more blue marans too. The chickies are so adorable (like little penguins - because of the black and white coloring on the chickies) and it's such a small number to raise inside the house. So, whenever he collects an egg (maybe today or tomorrow or the next day), and the temperature of the incubator is where it needs to be (he likes it at 99.5 or 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but I had good success with the temp. at 102 degrees Fahrenheit when I was hatching out eggs before passing on the duties to my son), we will start incubating.

    I was just wondering if there was another reason besides just the weather of the chicken breeders' geographical area (typical fall and cold winters with snow).

    I guess we're so lucky to be able to hatch eggs whenever we have them. I love FL and would never move. The weather is usually nice and cheerful (because it's sunny). Although hurricanes are kind of bad weather to deal with. That's why our chicken coops are built the way they are, to hopefully withstand hurricanes as well as keep out predators (rebar in the bottom beams and supporting leg beams sunken in way into the ground).

    Anyone else hatching eggs other than in Spring ?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    It is practical, to some degree, but overwhelmingly, it is merely cultural.

    Spring! Eggs, Easter, etc.

    Actually? I am a huge fan of Labor Day chicks, myself. Temps are just right through September to brood. By January's coldest days, they are adults and the 17 week POL types already begin to lay. Much prefer it to brooding in spring when I have a zillion other things to be doing in the yard, house and gardens.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    The big reason is because your chicks will be raised in a good climate that only gets better (the season progresses to summer)

    Summer hatching isn't as popular because you can't safely ship eggs too often then, thus few people are selling, and usually if you hear a lot about hatching it is because it is selling season

    Fall and Winter are not popular because it requires extra to take care of the chicks. Not everyone lives in CA or FL and not everyone has broody hens. [​IMG]

    I hatch year round, and I'm sure lots others do, we just don't talk about it much except maybe, say, in the breeds/genetics section or something. [​IMG]
  4. peepblessed

    peepblessed Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have occasionally wanted to buy chicks in the fall and the feed stores don't carry them, so I say why not go for it! [​IMG]
  5. BairleaFarm

    BairleaFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2011
    Georgetown, KY
    I am. Ill be hatching all winter. Snow babbies [​IMG]
  6. EM Squared Farms

    EM Squared Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2011
    Ft. Pierce, FL
    Thanks for your speedy replies !

    I feel a little better about hatching out a few more eggs. The chickies stay inside the house for a while until they start flying out of their little cages (bigger fence holes on top -rectangular fence - smaller fencing on bottom border-rabbit fence). Then they move out into an enclosed pole barn in a couple cages until they are big enough that they won't escape out of the fencing in the outside.

    We'll be lucky with the marans since they are such huge chickies and grow so fast. All our other breeds are teeny tiny little bantams like the golden sebrights and bb red old english game. They stay so little and cute for so long.

    It's good to breed more of what sells, right ? Especially if we run out and there is still a demand. Just wondering what's going to happen to all the cockerels ? Hope that some customers will want to buy them. I wonder what a big huge copper black rooster will look like ? The blue copper splash maran is quite the specimen of an admirable rooster ! People are always shocked how huge he is. I remember I was blown away by his size when I first laid eyes on him.
  7. rarely bored

    rarely bored Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2011
    Central California
    Our rainy season (all 15 inches of it) ends in May and doesn't begin until October. From mid July to first freeze (mid November) we have an over abundance of meat bees, which would make any meat bird processing akward. The winters are mild here, and the hills are green from second rain till end of May, so I think in the future my bulk of hatching will be late summer into autumn.
  8. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm new to all this, but I was considering hatching a new Flock around Thanksgiving. They're going to be raised inside anyway and I figured by Spring, they'll be laying. I have some now that are going to lay in either September or October, just in time for a winter slowdown unless I supplement their light.
  9. flitter

    flitter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Our local feed stores don't even stock chick starter from August to March. But if I found the chicken breed I wanted, I'd be happy to buy them in the autumn.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  10. heatherkh

    heatherkh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 21, 2011
    Clackamas, Oregon
    According to my 87-year-old, been-keeping-chickens-all-his-life neighbor, it is because the new chicks will start laying at the beginning of the most productive laying time. We're hatching out some chicks that are due on or around 9/11 - he said that's just fine, we generally have mild winters and they'll be big enough to deal with the cooler weather by the time it hits anyway. But they'll start laying just past the optimal time of the year. No biggie, tho - we're looking forward to it!!

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