The eggs must be clean, slightly more than average size, uncracked and fertile. At this time of year fertility can be as high as 95% but declines with time largely due to the males. To keep up the genetic diversity I import some eggs each year from Ralf in Germany. Researchers have found that heavier and bulkier males are less effective at mating. So it's time to think about setting the incubator in early February.
The eggs hatch around 21 days later ( + or - a day), say the end of February. The chicks are then reared in naturally increasing daylight to start laying at the end of July to start the annual cycle over again and in time for peak demand during the summer holidays.
If you want to try my strain of La Bresse "Farmyard hens" I will have hatching eggs available from the first week in February, the eggs are £2.00 each plus postage (£4.00 of 1st class within UK). firstname.lastname@example.org