Eggs 6 weeks old, can I incubate?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by HallFamilyFarm, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm APA ETL#195

    Jan 25, 2010
    Monticello, Arkansas
    I have a question about hatching egg viability.

    We did a few hatching eggs presales this spring. Our Buff Orpingtons did not cooperate and started laying late. Anyway we shipped some eggs to a lady at her Post Office Box in Sumas, Washington. (Sumas is on the Canadian border). Mailed the box Priority Mail Flat Rate on 5/17/11. About two weeks ago i received an email from the USPS stating the item had not been picked up and after the 15 days, it was being returned to me. tried calling the buyer. tried calling the PO. No answer from either. I did a Yahoo search for her phone. It was a British Colombia number. CANADA! OOps, no shipping papers for there. The eggs arrived today at our house.

    The eggs have been in a well packed carton for 6 (six) weeks. Should I open them, candle them and set any that are not spoiled. Or just toss the box before it explodes?

    ETA: One egg was broken. Smelled a bit bad. The rest seem alright. None cloudy or dark. Am considering setting them.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011

  2. gamebirdsonly

    gamebirdsonly Crowing

    Mar 5, 2007
    Try it. [​IMG]
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    This last spring (early) a game hen produced 23 eggs over a 30 day time frame. Eggs were labelled in sequence layed. Air temperature during pre-incubation ranged 27 F to over 90 F with many mornings on early end of spectrum. First eggs layed amoung those hatched. Eggs not shipped and 2 week difference in age I think strong factor affecting viability.

    I think you are sitting on bombs.
  4. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    I agree...shipping once is a hardship on eggs...being shipped twice - probably no good. And six week old's a lot of strikes against success.

    I think it could be a stinky mess.

  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    There is a thread where someone did put some, I think, 20 - 5 week old eggs in an incubator. Most didn't hatch, but If my memory is right (I'm an old lady so usually I can't remember yesterday) She had a couple that did hatch. It was an experiment she was doing.
  6. peej

    peej In the Brooder

    May 2, 2011
    Yeah try it out!
  7. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    I just wouldn't try it because I would hate to have an exploding egg in my bator, and as others have pointed out, the shipping/handling plus the age of the eggs doesn't bode well for viability.

    I hope you find out whatever happened to the customer and why she never picked up her eggs. Hope she's ok!

  8. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    As an experiment, it's worth trying. As long as you're prepared to be disinfecting your bator when a rotten egg goes off in it! If you're desperate to hatch them out because your birds have stopped laying completely, I supopse it's also worth trying. But if your birds are still laying and you have a supply of fresh eggs to hatch out, why would you bother with the old ones...
  9. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm APA ETL#195

    Jan 25, 2010
    Monticello, Arkansas
    Well I sat the eggs. Will candle them every two or three days. Any showing signs of cloudy will be tossed...very far, far away.

    As for the buyer. She was a Canadian resident that tried to smuggle eggs into Canada. She rented a post office box in Washington state. She apparently rarely checks her USA mail box nor her inbox. I am glad she lost her eggs. there is a proper way to ship eggs to Canada....and I do not have permits to ship there.

    Will keep this thread informed as to how the eggs are doing.

  10. fleur_d'lis

    fleur_d'lis Hatching

    Apr 9, 2011
    Wow. I found this thread when I was looking for information on whether I should set eggs that I received in the mail today that were 10-days old, and here you brave folks are incubating ANCIENT eggs! Still upset that a BYC member is selling eggs that are collected over a seven day period making several already seven days old on the day the auction ends, but I guess I should have asked more questions. Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading the results. I have, by the way, been really successful at hatching eggs this year that were shipped to me, but they were much fresher than the ones I received today. But, I wanted Coronations so bad that I was careless.

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