What is a clutch?

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Your Poultry -

A clutch is a group of eggs laid by the same hen on con­sec­u­tive days. When the hen com­pletes her ‘clutch’ her in­stinct can be to go broody and in­cu­bate them. In many heavy her­itage breeds this may be 12-15 eggs laid on con­sec­u­tive days. Modern com­mer­cial hy­brids are se­lected for their abil­i­ties to lay large clutches of eggs with­out tak­ing a day off, per­haps 30 or more. Each egg is laid slightly later each day on ap­prox­i­mately a 25 hour cy­cle. Once the last egg is laid in the late af­ter­noon, she may take a one day break and then lay again the fol­low­ing dawn, 36 hours later. Hens which have 20-24 hour cy­cles of­ten lay big­ger clutches with­out tak­ing a break.

if you’re not sure of the age of an egg, use the ‘float’ test.

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