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Hatching chilled eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Pent, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. Pent

    Pent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2012
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    I'm starting a hatch soon, with eggs from my Bantams. The trouble is, they lay at seemingly random times, and I can't always get the eggs right away. It gets very cold out, sometimes. Obviously I can't hatch an egg that is frozen, but to what degree of cold should they still be viable? Some of the ones I've called "maybe" were very chilled to the touch.
     
  2. scflock

    scflock Overrun With Chickens

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    My last hatch was from eggs that were gathered from the coop about every 4 days in temps in the mid 30s at night. Hatched 17 of 19
     
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  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You will get all kinds of warnings about this but some people hatch refrigerated eggs and have no real problems. There is no clear-cut yes or no answer to this.

    The experts say to store hatching eggs at 55 degrees Fahrenheit for best results, and they are right. But these are the people that may hatch 1,000,000 chicks a week. Just a small change in hatchability can mean a lot of chicks to them. There is a pretty wide band of temperature where chicks can hatch. The further you get form that ideal, the more hatchability can suffer, but that does not mean they won’t hatch. That means you are more likely to have problems. I’ve found there is a pretty wide sweet spot on temperatures where youkan get pretty good results.

    I’m not as cold as you, but last year about this time I collected 28 eggs and put them in the incubator. Most days were at or below freezing at that time. I was able to be down there two or three times a day to collect eggs most days but not all days. Some were pretty cold to the touch though I don’t think any froze. Of those 28 eggs I had 25 develop at least some and 23 hatch.

    This is not the ideal time to collect eggs for a hatch. Hatchability can possibly suffer. But that does not mean you can’t have a pretty good hatch. Good luck!
     
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  4. Pent

    Pent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2012
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    Thank you, guys! I'm collecting eggs now to test my incubator, and see if I can encourage one of my hens to go broody before I receive an order of hatching eggs in March thats going to cost me over 50$, so I want to know everything's set. Especially as I'm adding a computer fan to my incubator, need to make sure I have it adjusted to the right speed. I can't exactly get an idea how my incubator's doing if half my eggs are duds from the start.Plus I'll have some adorable tiny yellow bantams to help with some of the cost.
    Its so cold here some nights that I can check the nest, see nothing, check it again four hours later and there's an egg frozen solid with a giant split top to bottom. Ah, Canada.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    When testing your incubator, if the egg fails to develop at all or stops developing in the first week of incubation, that generally means that something happened to the egg before it went into the incubator. If it stops developing in the last week of incubation, that generally means there was something wrong after it went into the incubator. Of course there are exceptions to that, but it is a decent rule of thumb to go by.

    So open any unhatched eggs and try to determine when they quit developing. That will give a decent indication if it was the cold or if it was something with the incubator.
     
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  6. scflock

    scflock Overrun With Chickens

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    Um, that's quite a bit colder than my eggs[​IMG]
     
  7. Pent

    Pent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2012
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Yeah; they might not freeze so fast if the eggs were bigger, but lil bitty Banty eggs lose heat so quickly. I'm wondering where the line is drawn between "still warm from hen" and "if I break the shell and peel it, it holds the shape of a translucent ice egg"
     

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