Eggs freezing in winter time - how to avoid this!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Fudgie, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    Ok egg-sperts We have eggs coming on and they are freezing before I can get them picked up. I work all day long, we check in the AM and check in the PM and again in the PM before retiring to bed. This morning and yesterday morning, I found a call duck egg and it had been cracked like the inside expanded from freezing and surface cracked it. What can I put in the nest box to help insulate these precious eggs till I can get them picked up.

    Right now they have straw in a couple of them and fine wood chips in another, they choose to lay in the straw.

    This is killing me, calls only lay like 22 eggs a season I have been told and I have lost 2 of them already! URGH

    Second question if they have a crack are they doomed to be incubated? I figure i am incubating others anyway and I will toss them in since the bator is warmed up and see what happens. just curious if anyone knows that answer right off. Is there something I need to do to help the crack or just leave it, when the egg returned to room temp you cannot even see the crack.
  2. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you have a neighbor that can collect them for you when you are at work?
  3. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    no, I could get there faster on a break than they could! LOL....we live in the boonies. I am like 10 min from work but I am thinking I need to start taking lunch at home and do a gathering then!

    Part of the problem is the one that is always cracked is laid at the very back corner of the box and I think DD just misses it on the evening gathering. I am going to start checking real good for a while
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I have an isulated room as part of a small coop. The eggs have never frozen hard enuf to break in there. However . . . . I had the floor of the nest area covered with foam insulation and then covered with a piece of plywood, until this year.
    When the mice found that foam insulation they moved in. So, I took that out [​IMG]

    I've got to get something under those eggs and I can't think of anything other than the foam but I'll confine that to one small area. The remainder of the floor part is covered with wood shavings and that will have to do. I've got my mouse trap out there [​IMG].

    The R-value, per inch of thickness, of foam insulation is better than just about anything else. (example (per inch): fiberglass batts - 3.33 R-value, urethane foam 5.3 R-value). I will need to keep the birds from getting at it or it-will-be-eaten [​IMG].

  5. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    digitS' I thought about the foam board. I wonder if that foam poster board would give them a good insulation on all 4 sides enough to keep it from freezing and put a thicker piece on the bottom? It is funny how you give them so many nest boxes and they all use the same one!!!! I am thinking of taking the long nest box thing I have in there and just building a new one fully insulated with a plywood flooring between the foam board and the nest

    What do you think? So it would be wood on the outside, foam between, wood on the inside.
  6. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Sounds good to me . . .

    Of course, you are trying to retain the heat that is already there. It can't help for an extended period of time if the coop around the eggs is very cold.

    You may wish to cover the nest box so that it is a little cubby hole . . . (or, about 5 times the size of a pigeon hole. 'Cept, I used to use a basket for the pigeons. [​IMG])

    That's pretty much what I'll be doing with the nest box but, yeah, they all use the same box and I've made it large enuf for 2 hens at a time. Working at cross purposes here . . .

    Here's wishing us both luck!

  7. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    At the pet store you can buy a small plastic heating pad meant for reptiles. I would place it under a square of indoor outdoor carpet in the box and then add some hay.
  8. SewingDiva

    SewingDiva Chillin' With My Peeps

    Could you use a seedling heat mat under their nesting material? These mats increase the ambient air temp only by 10 degrees or so, which might be just enough. They're also waterproof. I use them for germinating seeds.

  9. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    that is a good idea!

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