Egg Age Before Incubating

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Eggclucktic Acres, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. Eggclucktic Acres

    Eggclucktic Acres Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 13, 2010
    Western Washington
    Is it true that eggs must be more than 24 hours old (and less than 7 days) before they are brooded or incubated? Why is that?
  2. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper

    Nov 3, 2010
    I have never heard that. I have set eggs that are 8 hrs old and they hatched out fine. They can be older than 7 to incubate also. They can be as old as 21, but around day 12-14 the start to loose hatchability.
  3. NoseyChickens

    NoseyChickens Feathers On The Ground

    Aug 3, 2009
    Southern California
    I have set eggs the day they were laid and they hatched just fine. I have herd that you should set them by 10 days at the latest. But I have also heard of people hatching fertile eggs they bought from the grocery store and who knows hwo old they are.
  4. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    It was explained to us at a poultry seminar that eggs need to cool first before being incubated so if you catch one right out of the hen and pop it into the box it might have problems. Once it has cooled to room temp it's good to go to warm it up again and incubate it.

    How long you can hold eggs depends on storage conditions, but generally speaking you begin to see a drop off at about seven days getting steeper after ten days. I've set them up to three weeks old and had a few hatch.
  5. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    We did an unscientific study here at our house to check the viability of eggs. My netbook with all my numbers in it are in my other house on the property but we actually had 2 eggs out of 30 that hatched that were 45 days old when we put them in the incubator. Now, that being said, the chicks were weak upon being hatched, one died 2 hours after hatching and the second died @ 6 days.

    This was completely for our own curiousity to check on the viability of eggs the longer they "sat". During this time that they "sat" they were turned in a turner before being put into an incubator to actually be incubated. It was interesting to say the least.

    We had no eggs that were viable at the 5 week mark and none after the 6 week mark. Viability definitely did go down the longer the eggs sat around. It was fun to do and to see the results.
  6. Rebecky54

    Rebecky54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    North Dakota
    I was just going to ask this question -- thanks for the info! I have one buff leghorn that I want to use for breeding, so I'll have to put other eggs in the incubator with hers.

  7. ksf59

    ksf59 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2010
    north west iowa
    I have had good lck with 14 day old eggs, I collect and date my eggs, store them in cartons in my basement, prop the carton end up on a board, change ends twice a day. I see little dif between a 14 day old and a 1 day old, Maybe the opposite. It looks from, my candleing that the clears may be more from the newer to middle age that the old. That being said, it probably has more to do with the individule hen that others. I have one wellie that has not laid a NON fertial eggs since september, so I will have quite a flock of full sibs. couple of other miss a few every now and then. I know becauuse I have 2 hens in with each rooster and they each lay differenent shape and slightly differnt egg color and pattern. My 4 bcm are in with 1 blcm roo, but theyeach lay a differnt eggs, so easy to tell which is which.One of these hens has better fertlity than the other 3, I do have good fetility, having hacthed about 88 percent of set eggs, maybe 1 percent quit and rest clear. I did have 3 BCM that did not hatch on 1 gruop, but think I had my humidity a bit to high in the hatcher as has sticky chicks on the last 3 or 4 to hatch, with gooy stuff in the shell. Dropped my humidity to 58 percent on the last batch ans 100 percent hatch with 2 clear out of 40 eggs.So set 40. 2 clear. 38 chickees.Soem of these eggs were 16 days old. I did have a jump in fertillity , when the weather cooled off, and have set my last eggs for now for new years hatch. I will hacth some this sunday as well, and will have about 180 chicks from mid sept to new years day . That si enough work to keep warm in the winter ,s o will wait until feb to set any more. With the balck coppers ,i did see a higher rate of clears in the very dark eggs. These hens are born in mid feb to march 1 in 10 and started laying at 5 months, layed pretty nice dark eggs, until very hot, then layed an egg every day while very hot. Boy did that collor fade, But as it cooled off , the color came back, They slowed down to an egg every other day and started laying consistantly 7 8 and once in the while a 9. (almost black.) I did not get any of those to hatch, but did hatch quite a few 7 and 8s. Their were more clears in these than my wellies, though. They are a bit lighter now, may more 6s and 7sm perhaps and 8 on occassion.The one hen is differnt bloodline, and the younger one, she lays the darkest ones. I know this is off topic a bit, but still am convinced the hen health and nutrition has more impact that an egg that is 3 days or 10 days old. and how you store your eggs. For the record , I will be hatching 2 pullet eggs that had been refrigerated for 5 days. I was ready to set and had 13 eggs, as some hens had slowed down. I was not going to set 13 eggs, so took 2 out of the fridge.They are the prettiest little pullet eggs, about 1/2 the size of the others. They are going to lockdown tonight or tommorow, and did have 2 eggs that were fresh from the nest, in fact 1 was still warm, that were clear, so I am still lockin down 13.
  8. Eggclucktic Acres

    Eggclucktic Acres Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 13, 2010
    Western Washington
    So you can incubate eggs that have already been the frig? What has your success rate been in the past? (Right now, the weather is so cold, I guess the nest box is about the same temp as the frig.)

    BTW -
    I just ordered a Genesis 1588, will I need to worry about the humidity level when I incubate my first clutch? Does the humidity setting change based on how full the incubator is when you set it?

    Thanks for everyone's input! I am learning alot!
  9. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper

    Nov 3, 2010
    I have set a grocery store egg in the incubator before and it hatched out fine. Turned out to be a delaware hen and gave it to the neighbor once it was half grown. They still have it. In only ever did that once before though. I have refridgerated some of my own eggs cause the air conditioner in the house quit working so it was really hot in here. I put 10 of those in the incubator (oldest being 7 days old) and hatched out 8 of them. One candled clear and the other died around day 9. Those are the results I have had although I have not refridgerated that many of them.

    Anything you do to the incubator changes humidity level. It seems the more eggs I add the lower the humidity drops. I have really dry air right now in my house. Humidity only being 20% and the incubator will drop to that quickly in a couple days if not watched. I have incubated one batch of eggs at 20% on days 1-18 and out of 9 eggs only 4 hatched. Did it to see how much difference it made. 5 made it to lockdown, the rest died before that. I have 45 eggs in there right now and all are growing along beautifully with humidity being around 30-35% with the exceptions of one or two I am questioning right now.
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I currently have a dozen Trader Joe's fertile eggs in one of my incubators as an eggsperiment. They are set to hatch on 1/1/2011, if all goes well. I will candle on day 10 to see how they're doing. I did candle four last night, and when one showed the slightest bit of possible development, I stopped candling. Day 10 will give me a better idea.

    Each of the eggs in the carton was stamped "Use by Dec 29" and that carton was the most fresh of all in the refrigerated egg section.

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