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fertilized eggs

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Faydra, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. Faydra

    Faydra Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 28, 2014
    British Columbia, Canada
    Hello,

    This is going to seem like a really stupid question, but I have 12 pullets (six of which are laying regularily, and one that just started laying last night [​IMG]) and one rooster. I have seen my rooster breed several hens but I don't want chicks so I am wondering what is the best way to make sure none of my eggs are incubated?

    I collect my eggs everyday, wash them immediately and store them in the fridge. I give most of eggs away to co-workers and neighbors but I've heard stories of people who crack an egg for breakfast and there is a beak in it, and I don't want that happening with my eggs!

    Will the temperature in the fridge be enough to ensure they do not incubate? How long should I store them before using?

    Faydra
     
  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    If you are collecting your eggs daily and storing them in the fridge there will be no chance of them having developing embryos in them. For eggs to start developing the hen needs to constantly sit on them when she is broody. She would only leave the nest once per day to eat,drink and poop. Eggs need to reach 37.5 Celsius consistently for incubation to begin.

    I use eggs upto 3 weeks old with no problems. With refrigerated eggs I believe it's longer.

    I'm sure you won't be giving anyone a beak for breakfast :frow
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    If you collect the eggs every day after all the hens have laid you will not find a beak in them even if they are under a broody hen all day. What most people think are “beaks” or something like that are really blood spots or meat spots. Those have nothing to do with an egg being fertilized or incubated. You can read about them in this article.

    Egg Quality Handbook
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/ourbooks/1/egg-quality-handbook/

    Commercial egg operations candle their eggs automatically to remove any eggs with internal defects like that. They don’t want their customers to get a blood spot or meat spot surprise. Those eggs are still edible. They are sold at a discount to bakeries or places that open and scramble the eggs so the blood spots and meat spots can’t be seen.
     
  4. Faydra

    Faydra Out Of The Brooder

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    22
    Jul 28, 2014
    British Columbia, Canada
    Thank you!

    Is there a cutoff time for these eggs? Obviously I realize that not all the eggs will be fertilized but it has happened once that I missed a couple of eggs as they were sitting on the floor and I didn't see them until the next day. Could these be starting to form?

    Also, my hens have just started to free range so they are outside during daylight hours. If I happen to find a clutch of eggs somewhere is there a way for me to tell how old they are and if they have started developing anything?
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    If you don’t know what has happened to those eggs, you don’t know what shape they are in. I would not sell those or give them away but would use them myself. Crack them into a separate bowl before you mix them with anything. You probably should do that anyway in case you find blood or meat spots. Eggs with blood or meat spots are safe to eat but a lot of people can’t get past the YUK! factor. Some are so bad I don’t use them either.

    An egg can develop some if the temperature is fairly warm. It does not have to be full incubation temperature to develop some. The cooler it is the slower it develops. I try to not store eggs above 80 degrees on my kitchen counter just in case, but I think it would take a really long time at those temperatures for any development to be seen. An egg certainly won’t hatch at those temperatures.

    If you can’t get over the worry, just cook them up and feed them back to the chickens. Chickens are not supposed to make you uncomfortable. But maybe this will help. A hen can lay an egg a day for two week or more in a hidden nest, then incubate and hatch those eggs even when the daytime temperatures are getting well up into the 90’s. The eggs are in the shade, not direct sunlight. They are on the ground and the ground does not heat up nearly as much as the air as long as it is shaded. If the eggs developed in that nest over that two week period she was laying them and before incubation started, they would not hatch.
     

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