Hatching eggs and cold weather

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by TedJan92_in_Idaho, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. TedJan92_in_Idaho

    TedJan92_in_Idaho Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2011
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    OK, I hear all the time about not letting eggs get chilled. I see where people are hatching store bought refrigerated eggs. Not really that cold. What about turkey eggs?? Here this past spring the wild turkey were breeding and nesting with snow on the ground. They lay an egg and leave it and come back the next time and lay another till they go broody. Guess what! We had a bumper crop of wild turkey poults this year. So my question is just how bad is cold on eggs?? Anyone help me out here?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't have any statistical data to answer your question. I especially don't know turkey eggs or what temperatures are ideal for storing them. SO I'll approach an answer from a different angle.

    A lot of study has gone into storing eggs for hatching. It's a huge business. Through a lot of studies, people with PhD's in Poultry Science have determined the ideal conditions to store eggs for hatching. If you are hatching millions of eggs a year, a small change in percentage of those that hatch is noticeable and will affect your profit margin. We have access to those results and especially the recommendations, mainly through the extension service. These studies are where some of our guidelines come from.

    There are a lot of different factors involved in these processes. For storing hatching eggs, it is not just the temperatures you keep them, but humidity, age, turning, storage position, and I'm sure several other storage factors that can affect your hatch. This totally ignores heredity, health and diet of the parents, and many other things not related to storage.

    The guidelines are there to help improve your odds of success. Because of the different factors involved, following one guideline or even several in how you store your eggs does not guarantee a perfect hatch. Failing to follow one specific guideline exactly does not guarantee failure. If you follow one guideline, your odds of success go up. If you follow several guidelines, your odds of success go up even more. But there are no guarantees either way because there are other factors involved. Some of those eggs are especially tough, probably due to other factors we know nothing about, like maybe heredity.

    The guidelines say to not store the eggs in a refrigerator. But not all refrigerators are the same temperature and some spots in the refrigerator are warmer than others. If I had a choice of storing hatching eggs in the refrigerator or in 90 degree temperatures, I'd store them in the refigerator and look for the warmest spot. My hatch rate may drop, but probably not as much as storing them for a week in 90 degrees.
     
  3. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The information about how to store hatching eggs is interesting. From what I remember reading, you should store eggs round about 55F, as long as you're going to be using them within a fortnight. If you're going to be storing them for longer than a fortnight, hatchability is improved by refrigerating them. In that case, I don't know if that means you should be refrigerating them right from the start, or just once they reach a fortnight old. I just thought the info was interesting because it shows how in one specific circumstance, refrigerating eggs would be better than not refrigerating them...

    And if you think about the storage of human embryos where IVF is concerned, -190C in liquid nitrogen doesn't seem to do them any harm!

    I think at some point I would like to run a hatching experiment with eggs that I've frozen. Just to see what happens.
     

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