Help! I don't know which end is up!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SusanV, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. SusanV

    SusanV Hatching

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    Sep 1, 2010
    Hi, I have a question that may or may not be urgent. I've incubated chicken eggs a number of times in the past in my classroom -- with the chicks going to a family with a small chicken farm. As of yesterday, I've started incubating 2 dozen eggs at home as a favor for this family. Here's my problem: About half of the eggs are so uniformly shaped I can't tell which is the "small end" and which is the "large end." I have a Hova-bator incubator with an automatic turner, and so one end is definitely positioned down. I tried candling the eggs with a flashlight in a dark room hoping to find an air bubble at one end, but no luck. I tried setting them on a flat surface to see if one end dipped down, but they appear to rest evenly along the side -- or very close to it.

    Anyone know what I should do? I'm hoping I'll hear that they can go either side down, but .... I'm not expecting that! Help!
     

  2. mulia24

    mulia24 Songster

    if you even just set them on flat surface and they appear to rest evenly along the side -- or very close to it.

    then

    I don't think there's problem if you put them not pointy end down since even the 'naturest' way failed to give clue which is pointy end.

    my suggestion is just set it without thinking of which end is up (special for that eggs you can't identify) since they even "appear" to rest evenly along the side -- or very close to it while put on flat surface. [​IMG]

    that's my suggestion, better to wait the other. [​IMG]


    edited to add : welcome to BYC [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
  3. SusanV

    SusanV Hatching

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    Sep 1, 2010
    Thank you! I tried balancing them again, and I found that the eggs did seem to tip EVER-SO-SLIGHTLY toward the end that I had finally put downward -- possibly confirming my earlier best guess.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
  4. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    Southeast Arkansas
    Two choices.

    1. Candle them again in a few days and you should be able to visualize the air cell as the normal dehydration sets in.

    2. The float test, No it's not going to hurt them. Put some water in a straight sided pan about 100 degrees. Put the egg in the water and lower it to the bottom (don't drop it from the level of the to of the water). If the egg is really old, it will pop right up to the top, But, a good fresh or early egg will tip just the slightest bit up to show you where the air cell is. One somewhat older will stay on the bottom, but stand up on its pointy end. They won't be in the water for more than a few seconds, and no problem. You can even do this before they pip if you are unsure is they are still alive, they will float and you watch for the egg to wiggle in the water, showing the chick to still be alive.
     
  5. SusanV

    SusanV Hatching

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    Sep 1, 2010
    Thanks for the great tips. I appreciate the detail in the float test, since honestly, otherwise I may have released the egg on the surface and watched it sink and crack! I did exactly what you said and it worked perfectly. All the eggs I had questions about rested almost evenly on the bottom but with one end slightly elevated. It confirmed in each case my best guess, so I'd say I can put my mind to ease. I may try looking for the bubble in a few days anyway, just for the fun of it. THANK YOU!
     

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