Originally Posted by happyfrenchman
NT.... have you tracked the hatch rate as it relates to how long the eggs sit before you start incubation? In other words, do eggs hatch at a lower rate if they wait longer before incubation.... 14 days is a long wait to hatch. Do you keep them chilled for the 14 days? I do a rolling incubation and I have never had as high a success rate as you have. But I have big issues with too much humidity. I finally put in a digital temp controller and went a dry hatch.... but again still not at the rate of success you achieved. Congrats.
When I am storing up my eggs for a setting, they sit in my ground floor, which stays consistently 55-60F and maybe 35% RH. Once I fill a carton (12), it gets set at a 45 degree angle until I am ready to set.
For my first hatch this year, there was no discernable difference in egg age versus hatch success, but the oldest egg was only 11 days old. I saw 2 distinct days of infertile eggs, which I attribute to weather (although I did not write down actual min. temps.), but I am pretty sure those days were well below 0F, and I know I took totally frozen eggs out of the nesting boxes at that time (they become food for me).
For my 2nd setting, I had marked the egg weight on each egg when they were collected (in grams, to 2 decimal places). When I set them, I re-weighed them. I definitely notice a greater weight loss in the older eggs, but my estimate is that they were losing ~0.15% per day. My ideal weight loss during incubation is 0.67%, so the loss during storage isn't that much. My 11 day old eggs in this setting had lost at most 2.38% of original egg weight, so about as much as a 4 day incubation. I assume my first setting were roughly the same.
For my next setting, I plan on putting my stored eggs into a cooler with a small ice pack changed daily. I hope this will reduce the weight loss.