Do fertile eggs survive in the winter?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bart40330, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. bart40330

    bart40330 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 27, 2008
    Harrodsburg KY
    Hello and this is my first post. If it has been answered elsewhere, then please direct me.

    My Easter Egger hen just started laying eggs. Thus far she has laid three. Whereas the roosters have free reign of her, I am going to assume that she is fertile. If not, then it ain't for lack of them trying!

    At night it has been dropping below freezing. She is laying inside the coop, but I know it's freezing in there because the water is frozen in the morning.

    My hope is for her to lay a clutch of eggs and then sit on them and make more chickens. My question is though, are those eggs still "alive" after being left out in that temperature? Should I just go ahead and eat them and wait till spring, or should I just get a little incubator?

    Any help or insight into this would be greatly appreciated.
  2. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    If the water is freezing at night then the eggs may also be freezing. Ive hatched refrigerated eggs, but I dont know at what low temperature the "germ" would be too damaged to develop. However, if they are freezing and thawing then the eggs will get cracks in them that would let in bacteria and ruin your hatch.
    If you want to hatch now, you should collect the eggs during the day and hold them inside your house until you have enough to set a clutch in the incubator.
    It isnt too likely that your hen will choose to sit on eggs at this time of year, anyway.

    Ooops! Forgot to say Welcome to BYC!!!

  3. jjackm21911

    jjackm21911 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 20, 2008
    rising sun maryland
    i think is the temp goes under freezeing it kills the embreo [​IMG]
  4. Crazy_For_Chickens

    Crazy_For_Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2008
    I don't think that the eggs would survive. I would wait till spring.

    And [​IMG]
  5. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    Welcome to BYC. I don't think it will be very likely that your EE will go broody, unless she is from a very close Ameraucana breeding. They are bred for production, not maternal instincts. I agree with Chel, collect the eggs and keep them inside until she does show signs of sitting. You can collect for a week at a time. If she doesn't show signs of broodiness, put those in the fridge and start a fresh collection. I have a buff orp broody right now, so time of year is not always a factor, but I think your breed will be.


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