Are Three-Week Old Goose Eggs Still Fertile?

jessi

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 19, 2009
25
0
22
I got four fertile goose eggs from someone and placed them under my goose, whose own eggs never hatch out. She has been sitting on them faithfully, but I'm concerned the eggs may be too old. I had them three weeks before I gave them to her, and who knows how long they were sitting in the donor goose's nest? So my question is, how old are goose eggs fertile?

Jessi
 

Windchyme

Silkies n Sebs
10 Years
May 13, 2009
282
10
134
Gold Country, California
Quote:
About 7 days though there are reports of eggs going much older then that. The only way to know is to start incubating them 7 days then candle them. She can do it or if you have an incubator you can do it, but I'd do it soon.
 

adrian

Songster
10 Years
May 12, 2009
736
18
141
Regina, SK
I have an egg about to hatch that was set at 10 days of age. And he was always one of the strongest little embryos. I say, never give up. There's always a chance, and it's an interesting experiment.
 

goosedragon

Songster
10 Years
Mar 28, 2009
2,351
33
171
Central NC
Quote:
About 7 days though there are reports of eggs going much older then that. The only way to know is to start incubating them 7 days then candle them. She can do it or if you have an incubator you can do it, but I'd do it soon.

I must differ with that 7 day figure. Reason geese lay every other day, if there are 10 eggs in the nest when she goes broody then the oldest egg is 19 days old. I agree with everything else you said.
 

jessi

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 19, 2009
25
0
22
I am a terrible candler. I've had this demonstrated, but can still never tell what I'm looking at. I've been told you can't candle them for 8 days, or 10 days. So if I try it in 8 or 10 days, what am I to look for to tell if the egg is alive? What will the egg look like if it is not alive?

This isn't a matter of "just wait and see" for me. The little goose will be terribly sad if she sits for a month and doesn't hatch out. Right now I may be able to import some goslings from a place in Oregon that sells them. But if I wait til the end of her setting, they won't have babies anymore.

Jessi
 

Chickies-duckies-etc

Songster
11 Years
Jun 5, 2008
594
4
141
Kansas
At 10 days, an infertile egg will look clear. The yolk will appear as a orangish blob that moves around some as you move the egg. But the rest will just look clear.

A fertile egg that is developing should have a network of veins with a dark spot in the center. Generally this is on one side of the egg. Think spider web with the spider in the center. The dark spot might move on its own and in response to the light. So if you are holding the egg still, the dark spot will move and dance around. But sometimes it is still.

If you do not see the dark spot, wait a day or so and try again. It might not be in a place you can see it.

If there is dirt on the shell then it can be hard to see what is going on inside. you may have to wait a few more days to be sure of what you are seeing. A glob of dirt can easily cover the dark spot. Look for the viens first.
 

jessi

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 19, 2009
25
0
22
Thanks for being so detailed and clear with those candling instructions! Before I got your post, earlier this evening (it's Day 8), I candled the eggs. They are definitely not clear. There is something dark inside them, taking up a lot of space. I didn't have a terribly strong flashlight, and I did NOT see veins. Perhaps they were there and would have shown up with better light? The dark spot seemed to kind of float, at least I remember that in one of them. It rocked back and forth a little when I rocked the egg. Is that normal? I candled some chicken eggs in my refrigerator (the kind you eat) earlier for comparison, and they are very clear. My goose eggs are not. So I think that means the eggs at least were alive and hopefully still are alive, as something seems to be happening inside them, unlike the chicken refrigerator eggs. Would you agree?

Jessi
 

Chickies-duckies-etc

Songster
11 Years
Jun 5, 2008
594
4
141
Kansas
If there is something in there and I am not sure what, I give it more time. Better to give it time and hopefully get a gosling that to throw it away too quick. NOT counting stinky eggs of course......
big_smile.png


Here is a web site I have looked at many many times to try to learn what I am seeing inside those white orbs..... OK, so they are duck eggs, but the time frame is about the same as for goose eggs, just a difference in size.

http://www.minkhollow.ca/HatchingProgram/Candling/index.html

Lots of good info in that site.
 
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jessi

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 19, 2009
25
0
22
I find that website almost useless. It was created in 2006 and never completed. The pictures it shows of good eggs look the same as the pictures it shows of bad eggs, no explanations given. If this is the best that is out there in terms of information, no wonder it's so hard trying to candle.
 

adrian

Songster
10 Years
May 12, 2009
736
18
141
Regina, SK
Oddly, I've never had trouble candling in the least. Dirty eggs, thick-shelled eggs, dark eggs... All they require is a dark room and an LED flashlight. The candling page at Mink Hollow is not useless; it has helped me a lot and has many pictures as compared to any other site with candling pictures. It doesn't show all through the incubation process and yes, there are some faults, but it is the best candling resource I know of.

Candling is something you will learn to perfect in time. Soon you'll be able to spot a dead embryo from a mile away. When an embryo dies in one of my eggs, I notice immediately, and by the end of that day am able to perform an "eggtopsy" and break open the egg. I have never once been wrong in deciding that an embryo is dead.

A floating shadow that sways with the egg sounds suspicious to my ears, but then again, it's so difficult to know if I'm not holding the egg myself. If the eggs are within a week of age (preferably younger), a floating blob can be the shadow of a germinal disc. It can also be a network of veins that, as it is so new, moves with the egg. You need a better flashlight. And only candle at night! In a way, it's so much easier with artificial incubation.

As a rule of thumb, never toss an egg unless you are sure. If you don't know candling inside out, then don't throw anything out unless it smells bad or begins to weep. Now those are pretty clear warning signs. Generally the goose knows best – wait a good week after the expected hatch date and then, if nothing, it's safe to throw eggs away.

Good luck, and hope that you have goslings in those eggs.
 

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