Winter hatch = delay in maturation?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Wynette, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    I wasn't sure if this was the right section to ask this question...when you hatch in the winter, does it delay maturity? I hatched a batch in mid-December, and I'm wondering if I should keep the same feeding schedule as I do with spring hatchlings. Thanks for your feedback!
     
  2. Master S.M.C

    Master S.M.C Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not really sure about that but not sure why if you have them in the brooder for 5-8weeks
     
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not sure what you mean by "if you have them in the brooder for 5-8weeks"?
     
  4. Master S.M.C

    Master S.M.C Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After the chicks hatch you put them in the brooder
     
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Ummm....yes....they were in a brooder....they are now 10 weeks old, and in my barn pen with heat lamps, etc.

    My question was about whether or not they mature later, or take longer to mature if you hatch in winter. Like, normally, they would begin laying at about 24 weeks (for this breed). However, since these were hatched in winter, will they grow slower, mature slower, and begin to lay later? I probably didn't phrase my question clearly enough. Thanks!
     
  6. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    They don't mature later but they may lay their first egg later since they need so many hours of light to lay. They are still mature they just aren't laying. The same as if you hatched them earlier in the year and they stopped laying in winter. Unless you change your chickens feed from layer to another kind in winter there's no reason not to switch these to layer at the same age you would any others.
     
  7. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks, Akane - it should be interesting to see. They'll be of egg-laying age in May/June, at which time there's plenty of sun. If they don't begin by mid-June, then it must be true that they mature later. Thanks for your input!
     
  8. Montana-Hens

    Montana-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but my experience is you want them to lay the first egg before the days start to shorten/autumn. If you don't you can wait all winter for that egg.

    I am thinking that hatching them in Dec that they will start laying this spring when all your other ladies pick up.
     

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