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Air Cell Before Incubation

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Broomtown, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Broomtown

    Broomtown In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2011
    First time hatching shipped eggs. I thought all I had to do was let the egg settle for 24-36 hours and incubate as normal. Maybe I've just been reading too much but there's a lot of opinions on here. For the record..I do have a lot of experience & success incubating large hatches of my own eggs in 2 redwood style incubators.
    I've never candled for "loose air cells" before. I don't see anything "floating around" in my shipped eggs...is that a good thing?? But I also can't see an air sac in the normal place but I didn't see an air sac in my fresh yard eggs either. I did see the air sac in some of the several day old eggs in the fridge.
    Would someone please post pics of a "loose" air cell??
    My shipped eggs are 18 hours into their "settling" period. I plan to put them into the incubator tonight. This brings up another question....I don't have automatic turners and the eggs will be incubated in the flat/natural position. I'm reading a lot of folks set them upright.
    Anybody hatch flat and get good results?
    My eggs probably only traveled 3-400 miles so maybe they never took a plane ride. They were packaged really well with no damage. Box was intact. I think sometimes I read too much. Anyone with experience please post.

  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I don't candle until day 7 or 10. I look at the air cell development then to determine if I need to adjust humidity. This spring hatch we ran 40% for first 18 days, after day 10 candle I decided to let incubator dry out to 20% for day and half then back to 40%. Knowing this next spring I'll run 35% and monitor air cell growth.

    Shipped eggs are a gamble in how the postal system handles them. I've read of 100% success but in three attempts of shipped we've only gotten best of 20%. Our second attempt with shipped zero hatched, they were scrambled by post office, only 3 of 14 made it to lock down. We turn in egg cartons then lay flat during lock down.

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  3. Broomtown

    Broomtown In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2011
    So you don't candle for air sac location before incubation? Maybe that's where I'm getting confused. I can't see any abnormalities when I candle. Looks like any other of my yard eggs before incubation. Then again, I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to be looking for.

    Also--I plan to use dry incubation (which I have great success with on my own eggs).
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  4. I ALWAYS candle shipped eggs before incubation.. that way I can check the condition of the air cell and make a note of it on the egg (loose, bubble, incredibly large.. and so on)..
    candling them before setting also lets me check for any hairline cracks

    if you have a detached air cell it will move around the egg as you turn it.. so as you rotate the egg you can see it migrate from one side or end of the egg to the other

    a bubbly or whipped air cell has small bubbles in the air cell.. so instead of seeing one distinct air cell.. you see one with dividers or bubbles in it

    Really BIG air cells indicate an old egg.. may be too old to hatch or may also require a lower humidity or even painting part of the shell (usually stripes) with wax or non toxic paint to keep the egg from losing too much weight

    hairline cracks can be covered with wax or something similar and may still hatch fine if no bacteria has entered the eggs (I've had good results from washing them down with a few spritzes of Oxine then letting them air dry before waxing)

    knowing the condition of the air cell and shell of shipped eggs lets you know if you need to do anything special with the egg either before or during incubation to try to ensure the highest hatch rate possible

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