18 Emu Eggs and 3 Ostrich Eggs going for my first time... I am so "eggcited"!!!

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by shanyalv, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. shanyalv

    shanyalv Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 15, 2010
    I have been lurking the Emu pages for awhile now and my family and I decided to try our hand at incubating some emu eggs.
    Currently we raise chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and what I affectionately call Chinese Ground Parrots ( Silkies ) This all started with my daughters love of the local emu's at our sanctuary here in town and lead to her getting one of the eggs from the nest ( with everyone distracting the male to keep him from going after her ) now she is hooked and wont let me scramble the eggs and wants to hatch them all.

    None of our were shipped, we actually drove from Vegas to Queens Creek, Arizona for some and made a big road trip out of the whole thing and then got the rest locally.

    Can anyone help me out with a few things that I was wondering.

    What is the longest amount of days that they are viable from laying to setting in the incubator for the best fertility rate ?

    I saw a graph that someone had used to mark the weights on but cannot seem to find the link anymore.

    How absolutely crazy am I to hatch not only the emu's but also the ostrich eggs ?

    I am using a reptibator for some of them, a wine cooler bator for the rest and will be switching them over to a dual zone wine cooler fridge here in the next week once I get it up and running. We are hand turning 3 times daily and the temps seem to be holding fairly well. I think that my weight losses are pretty much on track as well too. So any extra tips from the "experts"?

    Arizona Eggs

    Set date - 2. 15
    Egg 5 - 1.30 ( dates written on eggs from seller )

    Egg 6 - 2.1

    Egg 7--- 2.1

    Egg --- 8

    Egg 9 --- 2.6

    Egg 10 --- 2.6

    Egg 11 -- 2.6

    egg 12 --2.7

  2. brahmabreeder

    brahmabreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
  3. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    7 days from being laid is about the max you want to go to ensure the best hatchability.. after that they start to degrade and hatch rates start to fall. Now this is also dependent on them being in a controlled environment. Temperature and humidity extremes will shorten those 7 days. However even eggs that have had an extended stay in a climate controlled storage will have a much lower hatch rate than fresh eggs.
    Other factors that would affect it would be shipping. Eggs you get from your backyard have a much better success rate than those who have traveled over hundreds of miles simply because they have been exposed to more jarring and vibrations. Air travel can lower it even more.

    Raptor set up the charts you are referring to
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/729494/emu-hatch-a-long-2012/120 post 121
  4. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    I don't trust anything Brinsea puts out.. mainly cause much of it is WRONG and based on commercial standards in climate controlled buildings.. which has 0 to do with people incubating in their homes

    The best guideline for humidity is WEIGHT LOSS of the eggs or MONITORING AIR CELLS (when visible) .. not the set amounts they like to parrot from the commercial industry

    Plus you DO NOT raise humidity at hatch for Ratite eggs

    Also drilling holes into dirty incubating eggs is a sure fire way to introduce bacteria into eggs. In a commercial building they make sure the incubators are bacteria free (swab testing is done) plus the eggs are often fogged or sprayed with disinfectants. Having worked for commercial hatcheries I can tell you that following Brinsea's parroted advice is a sure fire way to have bad hatch rates.

    And you do not even want me to start in on their products (I have bought many of them) or product designs:
    Fire hazards in several of the products I bought from them (exposed wiring).. horrible fan placement.. and so on.
  5. kimfeatherfriends123

    kimfeatherfriends123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2010
    boonville, in



    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. Tame Emu Guy

    Tame Emu Guy Chillin' With My Peeps


    this post might not be well-received, but I’m relying on getting support from other experienced emu-owners:

    twenty-one ratite eggs!! . . . are you really sure of what you’re getting yourself into? These critters will be six feet high within two years -- except the ostriches, which will be nine. To contain them, you’ll need acres of space surrounded by six-feet high emu-safe fences (higher for the ostriches).

    If you hatch, for example, two male ostriches out of three eggs, and (as is perfectly natural) there turns out to be violent animosities between some of the emus, you’ll need up to four or five separate pens within the outer fence.
    Transporting them to the vet is difficult. Gee, if just five birds a year need professional help, that will be a trip every ten weeks!

    There is the cost of food and fences and vaccinations and the vet and a horse float.

    Still, if these needs are not a concern to you, I look forward eagerly to reading about what will be, in effect, not the hatching of some chicks, but the hatching of a flock. It will put you into a special category: if these birds are not kept as in a commercial facility, the ‘dynamic’ of such a flock will be much closer to nature than is the case where there are just a handful of birds.

    Supreme Emu
    Rocky Gully, Western Australia
  7. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    SE is right. Since I don't know your set up.. or if you intend to raise them in a commercial setup (meat production , oil and leather) i had hoped you had an idea what it all entails. I did notice that you said in your first post that you had "been lurking the emu pages for a while now"[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] and so I hoped that you were aware of our repeated warnings and weren't planning on raising them as a "fad pet". I do not take it upon myself to pry for too much info when someone comes here asking for hatching advice unless they have been gathering a lot of wrong info and it's apparent that they never did any homework at all. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]You stated that you made a road trip for some of the eggs. Those will basically be "shipped eggs" so there can be an expected lower hatch rate. Not as low as eggs that were lost in the mail for days or were subjected to air travel.. but the vibrations from the drive can be enough to cause a degradation of the insides of the eggs.. plus I doubt they were in a climate controlled cabinet during the drive. The length of the trip would also be a factor in how much they would degrade.
    You also never stated if the eggs were very fresh when you got them.. so lets assume that whoever you got them from did not store them properly and that many were more than likely over 7 days old before they ever saw the inside of your incubator.. those eggs would also have a lower hatch rate.

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]But for arguments sake lets suppose that you do have every single egg hatch.. the question you would need to ask yourself would be "what then? What am i going to do with all these birds?"... Since you have been reading through the emu pages I hope you have made plans in advance for the keeping and care or disposal of the birds. [/FONT]
  8. ES Emus

    ES Emus Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have to agree with the rest of the posters...hatching is the easy part,... dealing with, raising, feeding, and properly housing 6-8' tall powerful ratites is another story. They are definitely not chickens. I hope you did more homework than just "lurking" the emu site before taking on this project!

    Hopefully you did and good luck to you, I admire your willingness to pursue such an ambitious undertaking!
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  9. kimfeatherfriends123

    kimfeatherfriends123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2010
    boonville, in
    Good points....but she might not have all those worries...they haven't even hatched.....and that can be tricky.....[​IMG]
  10. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    You're right.. hatching IS easy... it's what to do with the birds afterwards that's the hard part

    Hatching isn't hard.. or tricky
    As I have told a lot of people.. it isn't rocket science... people just make it harder than it has to be

    Plans should be made BEFORE even acquiring eggs .. it's like the people that swear they can't have roosters.. hatch out a bunch of eggs .. then panic cause they have male birds in the hatch with no contingency plans in place. ..

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