A question about viability

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by wrestling_mom, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. wrestling_mom

    wrestling_mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had some eggs waiting to go in the bator, and still have a week until they are due. Is it safe to do the float test and put the sinkers into the bator next week, or do I need to just put them in as is? Will the water hurt the fertilized egg?
     
  2. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    The sink test though regularly talked about isn't realy of value. It only tells about the amount of moisture lost in the egg which is replaced by air. Hence, sink or float.

    Eggs waiting to go into the incubator start loosing hatchability immediately. Eggs should be set in the incubator by day 7 for reasonably good results. Of course even at 14-21 days you could get some eggs to hatch; but the overall hatching percent is very low.

    If it's all the eggs you have, then store them well in 50-60 degrees, 70% humidity, pointy end down and turn twice a day. Cross your fingers and go for it! I've done it when my turkey hen died.

    GL
     
  3. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Not necessarily. With 14-21 day old eggs, my hatch rate averages well above 70% I honestly believe with incubating old eggs, it's all about the storage. Correctly stored, you can really maximise their chances and have hatch rates almost as good as with fresh eggs. I've also stored eggs for over 3 weeks, and that's when I notice the hatch rate starting to drop sharply. This is all with eggs from my own birds though. I wouldn't want to try storing shipped eggs, they usually have the odds stacked against them enough as it is!
     
  4. wrestling_mom

    wrestling_mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you!!!!![​IMG]
     
  5. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Not necessarily. With 14-21 day old eggs, my hatch rate averages well above 70% I honestly believe with incubating old eggs, it's all about the storage. Correctly stored, you can really maximise their chances and have hatch rates almost as good as with fresh eggs. I've also stored eggs for over 3 weeks, and that's when I notice the hatch rate starting to drop sharply. This is all with eggs from my own birds though. I wouldn't want to try storing shipped eggs, they usually have the odds stacked against them enough as it is!

    Individual flocks will vary. Gypsy, you have some very good eggs!

    I was referencing the information found in the book A Guide to Better Hatching by Jane Stromberg. My own experience followed this as well.

    Generally, the best % hatching occurs when eggs can be set by 7 days old. THis is what the University sites list.

    If they are what you have, go for it. I did.
     
  6. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yup Arielle, I'm not disagreeing with all the 'official' info. In general I'd say it's entirely correct, and personally I do prefer to set the freshest eggs possible.

    But - most of the people on here who quote the official info have never tried setting older eggs. And most of the people on here who HAVE tried setting older eggs have had much better results than they ever expected after having read the official info. I don't think my eggs are anything special or unusual, I just read up on the best way to store eggs and followed the advice to the letter. And hey presto - it worked! [​IMG]

    I guess what I'm meaning is, if someone's circumstances are such that older eggs is all they have available, they shouldn't be too quick to throw out ones that are over 7 days old just cause those ones won't hatch out quite as good a percentage as the fresher eggs. Circumstances like when your roo is killed unexpectedly and you want to set some of his eggs, but you only have older ones that have been in the fridge. Or if you've just bought hatching eggs but your second bator breaks down and it'll be a week till your other eggs hatch and your other incubator is free. I've seen posts where things like that have happened and people are advised not to set eggs over a week old "in case they go bad and explode in the bator". Some people even say things like "eggs over ten days old WILL NOT hatch"...

    IMO, the risk of rotten and exploding eggs is so low that it's worth setting every egg available, no matter how old it is. I mean, you only have to wait six days before you can candle and remove the non-developers, so there's really no reason not to give them all a fair go. I started experimenting with older eggs when I was hatching eggs from just one hen. I wanted to set a decent amount so I wouldn't end up raising just a couple of chicks, but it took her well over 3 weeks to lay a dozen eggs. I dated each one and kept careful notes. You have no idea how surprised I was at the end of the hatch when I realised that the oldest eggs had hatched out really well.

    I mean, if I had 50 eggs of varying ages, but only had space in the bator for 30 of them, I'd set the freshest ones, no doubt about it.

    But if I only had 20 eggs I'd set every single one.
     

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