Collecting eggs for hatching questions


13 Years
Jan 26, 2010
Guinda CA
I have someone who wants to buy hatching eggs. I've never sold hatching eggs before, so need any & all advice.

When I collect eggs, how should I store them? Which end up? What temperature?
What if they are dirty?
How long do the eggs stay good enough to hatch after being laid?

I have 4 hens. They usually lay an egg a day, sometimes one might skip a day. The buyer wants 2 dozen eggs. Is it possible to save 4 eggs a day until I get 2 dozen or will they be too old?

This is just the beginning of my questions.

Thank you for any answers!
If your getting 4 eggs a day it should take 6 days to get 2 doz that should be fine. Store the eggs in a carton pointy side down with one end of the carton elavated like on a 2 x4 or something and switch ends 2 or 3 times a day. If possable store them in a cool spot like 50 to 60 degrees till your ready to set them.

Good Luck Dan
Yep, what Dan said. There is some debate about washing hatching eggs. I choose not to. I wipe off what I can with a dry cloth or my fingers but I don't wet the eggs. If it's just covered in poo, I guess I would not hatch it. Haven't had that happen yet. Then again, if I was going to hatch it via a broody, I might still let it be in the clutch since I think some of the ick would get rubbed off during the 3 wks. I'm still fairly new at the hatching portion. We just had our first broody hatch out chicks and I have 25 eggs set in a spankin' new incubator.
Good luck!
COLLECTING: I'm checking my coop every 2 hours while collecting this last week because it's usually well below freezing in my uninsulated little coop. Any egg that is not slightly warm (relative to air temp) I just put in the fridge for eating. I've had eggs freeze and pop if I don't collect at least 3 times a day. Got to love Maine!

WASHING: I have been cleaning the egg boxes every other day right now so I will get only clean eggs. Some still have a little smear, but I wasn't going to wash this off because I heard that it makes the shell more porous and removes a natural protective coating from the egg. Today I just read about someone else having eggs fail and they thought it was because they weren't washed. I don't know what to think now.

STORING: I have not been turning mine while they are waiting to go into the incubator. I am storing them pointy side down in egg cartons in a cool (60-F) closet. Possibly too dry because it's winter. We'll see what happens.

ONE PROBLEM: Some of my hens lay eggs that are really hard to tell which side is pointy. These eggs I've just been laying on their side in the carton. BUT in the incubator/turner I'm going to have to choose a side to be down. I guess I'll try candling tonight and see if I can see the air sac and put that side up on the ambiguous ones. I've never candled before and these are dark shells. Wish me luck!
Thank you thank you Dan and all!

MomMommyMomma Congrats on the broody and good luck on your next hatch!
Coldweatherbirds You make me glad that I'm in California! Good luck on your hatch!

Next questions...
I'm new at this. These chickens are 8 months old and haven't hatched anything out, so I don't know how fertile they are or how good what they produce will be. They are a purebred, rare, heritage breed.
How much should I charge for eggs?


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