how do I store eggs before hatching?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by packerbacker, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. packerbacker

    packerbacker New Egg

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    Jan 20, 2011
    I'm new to this site but have had chickens for a few years now. I decided to get an incubator with a turner from Tractor Supply store but, in 2 trys only ended up with 3 birds. I thought I had done everything right. Had water in there for humidity and maintained the proper temps. Each time I had started with about 20 eggs. I collected eggs for about a week but just kept them in a bowl in a "cool" room. Should I have refrigerated the eggs instead of leaving them out? I ended up just buying 20 new Rhode Island chicks off the net so I would have eggs by late June or July but I'm upset with my failure. [​IMG]
     
  2. Chantay

    Chantay Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2009
    Carrollton, GA
    I put mine upside down in an egg carton in a cool room before they go into the incubator. I have only hatched out chicks one time (last Easter) and almost all of the 40 eggs I put in the incubator hatched. Good Luck!
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum! [​IMG] Glad you joined us! [​IMG]

    This site gives good information on storing eggs for incubation. I think it is worth reading.

    Texas A&M Incubation site
    http://gallus.tamu.edu/library/extpublications/b6092.pdf

    I take my turner out of the incubator and store them in the turner while I am waiting to get enough, although this site says you really don't have to turn them for the first week. You don't absolutely have to do everything exactly like this link or anyone on this site says. Think of these as guidelines to improve your odds. Some of us, including me, violate some of these guidelines and yet get good hatches. Some follow the guidelines almost exactly and don't get good hatches. The guidelines influence your odds of getting good hatches. They do not guarantee good or bad hatches. There are so many variables.

    Have you analyzed your unhatched eggs to try to determine what went wrong? More reading, but these sites may help with that.

    Mississippi State Incubation Troubleshooting
    http://www.poultry.msstate.edu/extension/pdf/troubleshooting_incubation.pdf

    Florida Incubation Troubleshooting
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/aa204
     
  4. Silver Spring Waterfowl

    Silver Spring Waterfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

    It wasn't your failure! I'll probably get som flack for this, but TSC carries Little Giant incubators. go online to GQF and order a hovabator with a fan if you want something comparable. GQF is the manufacturer. They have other small incubators to chooose from as well. Pricing is good. I had the same experience with the Little Giant 2 years in a row. So did my friend. Mortality rate in my other incubators (both Hovabators) only 2%. Don't throw it out, though. Disinfect it and use it for a warming/hatching basket. It's great for that once they pip and keeps your incubators cleaner. You can also buy all replacement parts at the GQF website. It's not a bad idea to just replace the styrofoam every other year so that bacteria doesn't build up. They're very inexpensive. I'd recommend picking up an extra wafer, plugs, and anything else that you think might be a problem if something fails or is lost. Their service has been really good for us.

    Do NOT refrigerate eggs if you want to hatch them. It's too cold. We keep ours in milk crates (we raise geese) wrapped in towels in the tornado shelter. Temp stays around 50 in there. Turn them every day and spritz them with water to keep them hydrated. Don't keep them longer than 3 weeks.
     
  5. packerbacker

    packerbacker New Egg

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    Jan 20, 2011
    The only other thing I could think of is the hardness of the shells. Those that did hatch took forever, over 24 hours, to complete their hatch. One of them I even helped a little. The eggs have very hard shells; much harder than those from the store. I was wondering if the shells might be too hard???
    As I was tossing the unhatched eggs I broke some open to see what was going on. Many had formed in the shell but never hatched.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    From the Mississippi State link I gave you, some possible causes for fully forming but not pipping.

    Low average humidity
    Improper incubation temperature
    Improper ventilation in incubator
    Improper turning of eggs
    Chilling of eggs
    Diseased or poorly conditioned breeder flock
     

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