care of eggs before incubator

klnlehmann

In the Brooder
12 Years
Jun 25, 2007
25
0
22
I have read and been told many different things about egg care before you incubate. My hens and rooster are outside in an unheated coop. So, it is now about 35 degrees. First, will these eggs be fertile (guessing so unless the rooster is on strike! although I have not seen him very active since the last snow) Will the cold weather cause them to not develop?

Also, how much can an egg be handled, can I rinse them under water.. Any basic first time hints would also be helpful. A day care full of kids will be disapointed if I mess this up!

Thanks
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,265
20,056
907
Southeast Louisiana
I suggest you follow this link. It should answer a lot of your questions.

Texas A&M Incubation site
http://gallus.tamu.edu/library/extpublications/b6092.pdf

The eggs should be fertile. You can check for the bulls eye. This link shows what you are looking for. If one egg is fertile, the other eggs that hen is laying should all be fertile.

Fertile Egg Pictures
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16008

Being in the cold for an extended period of time will not help their ability to develop but all day is not necessarily a disaster. It is probably not that cold in the coop itself anyway. Gather them as often as you can but they should be OK as long as they don't freeze.

Do not wash eggs you are going to incubate. The eggs have a coating, called bloom, on them that helps keep bacteria out. If you wash them, you remove that protective coating. Also, make sure your eggs are clean when you handle them, especially make sure your hands are not oily.

Do not set dirty eggs. How to say it. You can lightly rub off any loose stuff, but any manure on them is a good way for bacteria to get inside the egg. Some judgment required.

Remember these are guidelines, including what is in the A&M article, not absolute truths. People violate some of these guidelines all he time and have perfectly good hatches. The closer you follow the guidelines the better your odds of getting a good hatch, but not following them exactly is not a guarantee of a bad hatch.
 

klnlehmann

In the Brooder
12 Years
Jun 25, 2007
25
0
22
Thanks, gives me things to think about. I checked the eggs we ate last night and they all looked fertile. I plan on starting them Tuesday so they will hatch on a Monday. I will use all the eggs from Sunday and Monday. I think I have the incubator regulated..

I feel like a first time mom all over again!

Kristi
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,265
20,056
907
Southeast Louisiana
I'd consider using Saturday's and Sunday's eggs. That way you will be home ??? to collect them several times during the day so they don't cool off much. It won't hurt your odds.
 

Sweetfolly

Songster
10 Years
Apr 17, 2009
2,123
61
191
Kildare, Wisconsin
As far as the cold weather possibly damaging them...

I've been collecting eggs that were laid in 10-20 degree temperatures for a week. All but one of them was cold to the touch when I collected it. I've had 6 of them in the incubator for two days now, and all 6 have definite cell division going on - they're developing!

So, my point is, that you don't have to be completely and totally paranoid about the eggs being exposed to cold temperatures for a little while.
smile.png
 

klnlehmann

In the Brooder
12 Years
Jun 25, 2007
25
0
22
I probably should have updated you all earlier, but as eggs don't get big bellies or morning sickness it has been a quiet 3 weeks here.

I flipped 1/3 turn every 8 hrs for the first 18 days and went down tonight and I could hear them peeping! When they hatch I will try and learn how to post pictures. I guess I should paint the nursery after all!

Kristi
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom