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Egg positioning during incubation

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Jrose, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. Jrose

    Jrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm on day 7. This is my first incubation. I candled and all have a clear air pocket, a cloudy dark area, and a dark spot. These look just like the Learning Center candling pics. However, I'm using an LG still air incubator and the eggs are just on the wire grate, so the air sacks are length-wise (albeit at an angle) on the eggs. I haven't found candling photos of eggs in this position to compare to. Questions:
    1. Is there ANY benefit/downside to incubating sideways
    2. Should I (or is it too late to) place the eggs in a cardboard carton from here on out
    3. If in a cardboard carton, do you completely flip each egg for turning (round to pointy end, etc), or do you use a prop to raise one end of the carton, then prop the opposite end for 'turning'?

    Thanks!
     
  2. WalnutHill

    WalnutHill Overrun With Chickens

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    Were these shipped eggs? Even when incubating on the floor, the air cell should remain on the fat end of the egg. This is important at hatch time.

    While I incubate my eggs fat end up, it's because that is the way my turners fit them. Chickens, quite naturally, lay them flat and the fat end is only slightly elevated. But in either case, the air cell doesn't roll around inside the egg.

    Turning means rotating around the long axis, gently. Antique egg incubators simply pulled them forward or pushed them back with push bars. Newer incubators either tilt the entire tray (when eggs are in cups), or rotate racks in the tray (like the LG model). All methods have good success. If you set the eggs in a carton, you can tilt the long axis of the carton by putting a piece of 1" x 1" wood under one edge. You want at least a 90 degree rotation over the course of the day, so if you tilt it 45 degrees left and 45 degrees right you can do that.

    Or just roll them around gently, at least three times a day.
     
  3. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Pretty much what WalnutHill said.

    Eggs should always be big end up. Air cell on top IF you are incubating in cartons (and bottom of carton cups should be cut out for air circulation.)

    Are you talking about the air cells being unattached and floating or the growth of the air cells being lopsided. (They are naturally lopsided and generally the chick will pip the lower end of the air cell.) They should look like this:

    [​IMG]
    My understanding is shipped eggs do better incubating standing up, (I've never done shipped eggs.) but if your eggs are not shipped there is no NEED to incubate in that position. You certainly can if you want, many people do. Laying down is just fine. If they are laying they need to be turned 3x's a day AT LEAST, more is better, but always an odd number of times. (An x on one side and an o on the other will let you know that you've turned them all and they are on the opposite sides.)

    If in egg cartons the carton can be tilted, but no, do not put the air cell down.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  4. Jrose

    Jrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They're not shipped, they're from my own hens.

    I appreciate the info. Maybe I just don't know what I'm seeing... There's a dark cloudy mass, with a darker spot in the middle, and a decent portion of the egg (maybe 1/3) is clear looking. I took this clear area to be the air pocket. The dark spot and clear area are more or less long-ways across the egg, not like dark on the pointy end clear on the fat end. I don't have any LG add-ons, no auto rotater, trays, etc. Just the eggs on the wire rack.

    I stored them in a cardboard carton, pointy end down, and elevated a different end of the carton 3 times a day while collecting/saving the eggs for the hatch. Carton was in a cool closed cupboard in the kitchen. The oldest egg was 5 days old when I put them in to incubate, no old eggs. None of the eggs were washed. I've been collecting eggs 3-4 times day to make sure they don't sit out in the cold. I think that about covers egg details :p
     
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Your details are good. Are you candling from the top down (at the air cell) or from the bottom up? If you candle the pointy end, it'll look like it's empty at the bottom and throw your persprctive off. If you candle down from the top end (barring you have really dark shelled eggs) you should get a nice clear picture of what your air cell looks like.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    You should be able to see a clearly defined clear area at the top (wide end) of the egg. You can actually see the circle where the membrane makes the bottom of the air cell. Any other clear area you see in the egg is albumen. The dark in the middle would be the yolk and developing embryo/fetus.
     
  7. Jrose

    Jrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've put them in the cartons regardless. I don't like rolling them around on that silly grate. This way I'll have to handle them less.

    I'll look again tonight and study them well. Maybe get a photo if I can. I probably just don't know what I'm looking at :p
     
  8. WalnutHill

    WalnutHill Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]

    This is a good photo off http://thepoultryguide.com/chicken-egg-candling-guide/

    The area to the far right, defined by the sharp line, is the air cell.

    The albumen is the clear, veined area near the bottom and immediately under the air cell.

    The yolk and embryo is the darker area in the middle, but the embryo is quite young and underdeveloped.
     
  9. Jrose

    Jrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've only got a silly little flashlight. I tried again and I recognize the air pocket now, it does look similar to that, but just a bit larger.

    When I first candled I could see the dark spot of the developing chick plus veins in all the eggs. Now the cloudiness seems impenetrably dark. Maybe it was a difference in how I was holding the flashlight, I'm not sure. I couldn't get the clarity I had the day before. The egg shells are all brown, green, and blue, not sure if those color affect the ability to candle.
     
  10. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    Color affects candeling big time. Some will be so dark you won't see anything. The weaker the candeling light, the harder to see in these colors.
     

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