Eggs touching in the incubator?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Bettacreek, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    Well, I'm looking at two auctions for quail eggs right now. My problem is that with everything that I have right now, my incubator will hold 80 jumbo eggs (or should, god help me if the homemade "rack" I plan to use doesn't work!). The one auction is for up to 130 eggs. I figure if worst comes to worse, I can pickle some of them up. But, I want to incubate as many as I buy, because it just seems like a waste to be eating the breeding stock as eggs... Anyways, the rack that I have figured out (if it works) will hold 80 eggs, as I said. Can I then "stack" the eggs? The rack spacing keeps the eggs pretty far apart, but not far enough that I would be able to actually put all of the eggs down without touching. I can only assume that I would end up with infertile eggs, bacteria eaten eggs and chicks that die during the incubation period, so I would remove these then as need be, which might free up enough space to have just the 80 eggs. Also, if it is possible, and I DID end up with some stacked up until hatching point, could I then get away with "rotating" them if one on the bottom begins to hatch, so that hatching eggs are on top until they hatch, then remove them so the ones on the bottom can hatch out? HELP! Lol.
  2. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2008
    Are you talking about stacking eggs one on top of another?

    If so the only thing I can see going wrong with this is come hatching time. Not only are you breaking out of your shell, but you have a sibling sitting on you while you're doing it. But then again, chicks that hatch first still rattle around and sit on eggs.

    What type of rack do you have? Do you have a picture?

    With a picture I can better understand what you're working with.

    It's okay for eggs to touch eachother, but I don't know about actually stacking the eggs right on top of eachother.

    Sorry, if I'm not getting the idea. [​IMG]

  3. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    Alright, I'll show pictures, but, yes, you have the idea. I'm not the best with describing anything with words, so, the pictures should clear it up, lol.

    My rack is made out of this stuff:

    And, I'm wondering if I can do this with my eggs:

    The square thing would be the rack from side view.

    As far as turning goes, I'm hoping to use a brick under the incubator to tilt it, and the eggs on the bottom should be spaced far enough that the eggs on top would be sitting down far enough to keep them from rolling about when I tilt the machine.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  4. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    How are you going to turn them? I would think if you turn them too much the ones on top will fall off.
  5. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    Lol. I just made an edit to my post to add that. The spacing in the rack is weird, it *should* be just far enough apart that I couldn't use each square in the rack, and had to go with every other one, but, it should give plenty of room in between them to make a "cup" for top eggs.
  6. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2007
    SW Washington
    Can you set a second piece of the grid on top of the bottom eggs, thus creating 2 trays?

    I'm guessing you are using a styrofoam incubator. I think you could get away with stacking them IF you are using a forced air incubator. I wouldn't try it in a still air. Even in a forced air I would switch the trays around from time to time to even things out.

    It is true that when you candle them you will be removing some and free up some space, but you might not remove 50%.

    When it comes time for the hatch I would just lay them on the wire floor of the incubator. With its 15"X15" floor you would have 225 square inches of space to work with. Quail eggs are roughly 1 square inch each, so that should be plenty of room for them to hatch.
  7. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Is it forced air or still air?

    The problem I see with this is that the eggs on top would be closer to the heat, so their temps would be higher. I don't think it would do you any good to try, you'd just be killing the embryos anyway, and with all those eggs in there, it might kill more than you think.

    I would say look for a smaller auction [​IMG]
  8. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    "and with all those eggs in there"

    I agree... when it comes closer to hatching time, those eggs are going to put off a lot of heat on their own, and if they are too close together the excess heat cannot dissipate easily, especially in a still air, (which is all I have, not dissin' still airs, just acknowledging their limitations. Good luck though, and if you do try stacking them, (can't blame a guy for trying) I also agree you should trade out the trays every day or eve twice a day.
  9. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Sound like you would be better setting all 130 without the turner, hand turning only a few times should still give you a better hatch.
  10. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    If they are quail eggs just get some cardboard quail egg size trays (they might even come in them), set them side by side with something underneath that tips them a little (I used a chunk cut off another carton), and tip side to side. The eggs will be nearly touching each other and you can very easily fit 100+ in a styrofoam bator. I used them for my button eggs and a 25count only took up a little square in the dead center of my hovabator. It took maybe 1min to turn that carton and all 25 made it to hatching day with only 1 dead in shell.

    these hold 50 eggs in a little over 6x11".

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