Can fertilized eggs be "saved for later"?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wbruder17, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Songster

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    How long do fertilized eggs stay fertile for? Can they be refridgerated and then brought out later to hatch or is the a distinct window of opportunity? I want to start planning for my first spring hatching, but most people want to sell me the fertilized aggs now and Im not ready to begin the hatching process...

  2. heathersboers

    heathersboers Songster

    Dec 2, 2010
    When I sell fertile eggs for hatching-they are out of the chicken fresh- the ones I hatch-I store in the fridge no longer than 10 days-put them in the warmest part of the fridge-usually the top shelf with a thermometer- Mine stay about 50-55. The way I found this out--- I had a hen killed by moy boxer and I SOOOOO wanted some chicks from her-so I went to the fridge and pulled some eggs out- Guess what? They are due to hatch tomorrow- all 10 that I pulled from the fridge are viable... If you can store them in a cooler room-it would be better though
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    After a week, they start to degrade in how many will hatch. It drops off quickly after that. (I don't remember the exact percentages) I wouldn't get the eggs until the day before you are ready. It's best to not refrigerate them, store them in an egg carton wide end up on the counter and prop the end of the carton up on a thin container. Switch the side that is propped up a few times a day.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    You can hold them a week or so---that's kinda what hens do when allowed to lay then go broody---but beyond that, no go. Wait until you're ready to have chickies before ordering.

  5. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Songster

    Sep 4, 2008
    In the book A Guide to Better Hatching by Janet Stromberg, she states that eggs destined to be hatched should be held no longer than seven to ten days.

    The longer the time interval between the moment the egg is layed and the moment it goes under a setting hen or in an incubator, the lesser the chance of successful hatching.

    However, most eggs from healthy hens will usually be fertile this long only if they are kept somewhere between 40 degrees and 60 degrees, with about 70% to 90% humidity. Reduced hatchibility occurs if the eggs are kept in conditions that are either colder or warmer than this.

    In extremely cold weather (or extremely hot weather), you need to remove eggs from the laying nests as much as four times a day to insure that the eggs do not loose their fertility prematurely due to extreme temperatures.

    She later goes on to say that days 8 through 10 can be "iffy" even if storage conditions were perfect.

    She recommends holding the eggs no more than seven days at 40 to 60 degrees for the best hatchibility.
  6. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    bold enough text. . . ?

    Past a week, the eggs will lose their fertility rates, (if kept in the right climate) however I've had 18 day old eggs still come out as fertile and developing. [​IMG]

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