Winter hatch for spring eggs?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Bettacreek, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    I've been thinking about layer chickens, and I was wondering, why does everyone seem to hatch out new layers in spring? Would it not be most efficient to hatch in the winter, so that the time/food invested in them growing would be during a general non-laying period? You would probably have to keep them indoors for a little bit longer, but, still, I'm imagining a great deal of savings by doing a winter hatch instead.
  2. ThePoopCoop

    ThePoopCoop Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 4, 2009
    Chesapeake, VA
    I don't know the answer but I think it's a great question. We start our plants early, indoors, to give them a head start..why not our chickens?
  3. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    That is a good question! I have been trying to coax chicks out of my eggs for the past month. I figure they will be in pullethood by the time May rolls around. BUT the trick is to get them outta the eggs, lol
  4. thedeacon

    thedeacon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2008
    I bought 25 from MM in Oct. They are doing great without heat and below freezing weather and much snow. They are now 1-12 wks old. They should start laying just as Spring springs. No problems with raising them through the winter so far. Pine bedding and they have 24/7 access to the outside.
  5. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I think people get chicks in the spring because they are more available then, at feed stores and such.

    I totally agree with you, though. You get (or hatch) chicks in spring, feed them all summer, and they start laying just in time for shorter days and less egg production. I've even had girls who waited till the next spring to lay.

    This year I hatched out 2 batches of chicks in September. They are 11 and 13 weeks old now. I expect to get eggs from them early next spring.

    But I'm lucky enough to have excellent broody hens who do all the work for me. I never had to worry about having a bunch of chicks in the house during cold weather. That's really nice.
  6. eggsrcool

    eggsrcool Sussex Fanatic

    The weather. Before electricity was around, and the only way to hatch chicks was with a hen, the hes wont go broody in Winter, so the best time will be in Spring. That's my only approach on the question [​IMG]

    Apart from now we have electricity, I dont really know [​IMG] Good question too [​IMG]
  7. chicknjane

    chicknjane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2009
    Pine Grove, PA
    My husband hates having chicks in the house, so I'm confined to get them out of the brooder and in the coop asap, its easier to make that transition in the spring and summer when temps are warmer.

    There are plenting of people on here who are hatching out eggs all winter long. If I had an incubator and a more agreeable husband, I'd be joining a hatch group every month. [​IMG]
  8. protodon

    protodon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2009
    I got some ducklings in October for spring laying. I didn't want to waste the whole spring and summer waiting for them to grow. It worked out well for me because I put them out pretty early and they were fully feathered by the time really cold weather came around. So I would say Fall might be better if you don't want to keep chicks/ducklings in your house. They can spend time eating and growing through the winter and be ready to lay by spring.
  9. THough1956

    THough1956 Chillin' With My Peeps

    My silkie hens go broody all winter long. I have at least 2 on eggs now and 3 that came off nest last week.

  10. MakNat

    MakNat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    I've got 53 due Jan 7th!!!!!! Two broodys on dummy eggs! I'll only have to raise a third in the house!! LOVE those little chooks!! My DH teases me, but I saw wood in the back of his truck and asked him what it was for and he said, "Well don't you need a bigger brooder?"!!!!!!!!!!! That made me so happy. He likes them too!! [​IMG]

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