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Do small (early) eggs hatch smaller chickens?  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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When a new hen starts laying, the eggs get bigger over time until they reach "full size".

Does this effect chicken size if i hatch the earlier eggs?

Also, can eggs be collected over a few days before i put them in an incubator? Will this kill them if left at room temperature , or does it stop growth until heat is applied? Im wondering how chickens do it in nature. If they lay one egg a day  they would hatch one a day continuously. Unless they could halt the growth....
 
gardener
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You can absolutely collect eggs over the course of a few days and then put them all in the incubator at the same time. In nature, generally, one hen will experience the hormonal change causing her to go broody and she will sit on a clutch of eggs laid by multiple other hens. They'll basically all hatch within a day of each other after the incubation period starts, not the age of the egg.

I don't have an answer for the egg size/chicken size question, but I sure would like to know myself! I bet someone here knows that.
 
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Hi there, (this is one of my first posts so I hope I don't sound to stiff/harsh/blunt/ect.)
The size of a chick is determined by the size of its egg.
The size of a adult chicken is not necessarily determined by the size of its egg.

Eggs do not begin to grow until they reach somewhere above 80 degrees F, this way a hen can get all of her eggs to hatch within a couple hours of each other. Embryos viability is significantly decreased by 2 weeks. The faster you can collect the eggs the better!
I hope this is helpful. If you want more detailed info I would recommend looking at a forum called backyard chickens. There is alot at really great information there.

Hope your hatching goes well! Roger.
 
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A chick hatched from an early (small) egg will be smaller and more fragile than a chick hatched from a larger egg. The chick will catch up to the rest in size by the time it is mature.

Eggs are commonly collected over multiple days and hatched all in the same 24hr period. This is done by collecting eggs and storing them at 10-18 degrees celsius, to stall early development. This can be done for up to 1 week without severe reduction in hatchability.  

Note that 10-18 degrees is cooler than room temperature and warmer than fridge temp. Storeing eggs at room temp will likely kill the chicks. Newly hatched chicks can be measured by stretching them out next to a ruler and measured from beak tip to toe tip. Chicks from small eggs might be as small as 15 cm long, while from larger eggs might be over 20cm. Chicks that start out larger are more likely to survive.
 
wayne fajkus
pollinator
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Thats 50 to 65 degrees F.  I need a root cellar
 
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As you collect eggs, store them "point down" in an egg carton. I've done ok with them at low room temperature (think of where the chicken lays them, in the shade)
 
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The first question about the size of the hatching eggs you are setting ~ usually pullets lay small eggs when they first start laying.  Depending on the recipe/feed ration formula ~ those eggs will increase in size, directly related to the feed ration.  Mine transition to medium in 2 weeks, with other feed rations, it has taken 2 months.  

You "can" set pullet, small eggs.   It will result in a small chick.  How big those chicks grow will depend on the nutrition of the hen 6-8 weeks before those eggs were collected for and also quality of the chick star.ter  Also, genetics impact the health and size that the chick eventually attains.  

It's best to wait until the eggs are a medium size.  My feed ration is formulated to produce medium eggs which are the ideal size for hatching.   Large eggs tend to have less fertility than medium eggs.

For best results, feed your mature birds a breeder ration 6-8 weeks before collecting eggs for hatching.  Place those eggs in an egg carton/cartons and put those in a box which is propped up on one end.  Rotate the box in the same direction, a quarter of a turn twice a day.  The ideal temperature in the room the eggs are being stored in is 55 degrees F.    If this temp is not possible with room temps, some breeders store their eggs in a wine cooler.  Room temp should not be over 76 degrees F.  

Ideal length of time to hold eggs is 11 days.  I have, however, held eggs for as long as 18 days.  The longer hold period usually results in lower fertility and/ or early deaths of some of the embryos.

Fresh pullets who have eggs transitioning to medium size will give you your best hatches.  With good genetics, good feed ration, you will get 90+% fertility and about the same for hatch rate.  

If you choose to use a small incubator, you can set eggs when you see a hen go broody, and transfer the eggs to her/under her when they are near the hatching date.  This process increases the hatch being successful since is the egg are incubated without the competition of other hens in the nest area and utilizes her as your brooder, far more efficiently than any of us could be.  

The above information is what I have learned over the past 7 years as a breeder.  I am happy to share any information ~ I've already made most mistakes that can be made.  No need for anyone else to repeat them.  
 
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