Spring time is a big rush for hatching eggs. As a company that sells egg incubators, we definitely take notice. Now that it’s summer some may ask: “Did I miss the window of opportunity? Is it too late to hatch my eggs?” The answer is… it depends.
The first thing to consider is the type of bird you want to hatch. Chickens will Generally lay eggs for most of the year. They'll stop laying when they start molting and will really slow down egg production in those months with less sunlight. The rooster will do his business year round. As a very broad average hens will generally produce about 250 eggs per year. This heavily depends on the breed of the Chicken. Geese, on the other hand, will only lay eggs in the spring, as well as many breeds of Duck.
The second thing to consider is your purpose in raising the birds. Some raise birds for meat, others for eggs, and some for pets. You need to plan ahead in terms of when you want your eggs or meat. The time it takes for the birds to be ready to harvest for meat varies depending on the breed. Some take 5 months and others, such as some Cornish breeds, can take as little as 8 weeks! If you wait after their prime harvesting time the meat will start to get tough. As far as raising birds for eggs, they need to grow for about 6 months before they start laying eggs. Again, this is a very broad average. Here is a good explanation for Chickens from the MyPetChicken.com forum:
On average, pullets, or juvenile hens, start laying eggs at about 6 months of age, depending on the breed. Larger, heavier birds like Wyandottes, Plymouth Rocks and Orpingtons will lay on the later side whereas lighter, smaller breeds like Leghorns, Stars, and Australorps will start laying sooner.
Taking this into consideration will allow you to know when you should hatch your eggs. This explains why incubation season is in the spring. This allows you to raise your birds in a warmer time of the year, as well as being able to start harvesting eggs and/or meat before it starts getting cold again. Now that it’s almost July, it doesn’t really mean you’ve missed the boat to hatch your eggs. It just means you need to plan ahead!