How long before they HAVE to go in the incubator?


10 Years
May 19, 2009
I got some Dominique eggs in the mail today from another BYC'er, but both incubators are occupied at the moment; one with chick eggs that are "officially" due tomorrow, and the other with Coturnix eggs due Tuesday. How long can I keep the Dom eggs before I absolutely HAVE to put them in the incubator? Will viability drop each day they are outside the incubator? I'd move the chick eggs to the quail egg incubator, but I don't want to kill the chicks that may be hatching (I had one hatch yesterday, but no movement and/or pips otherwise).

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11 Years
Aug 2, 2008
South Central KY
They need to rest, big end up, for 24-48 hours anyway, before you put them in the 'bator. That might be enough time for your other hatch to finish.

Total safe waiting time would depend on how old the eggs are. The seller may have told you when they shipped, and if you were also told how old the eggs were when they shipped, you can see how many days old they are.

Most say incubate no later than 10 days old. That's figuring normal room temp, say 75F. Depending on various factors, like average temp they were held, humidity, etc., that window can vary quite a bit. The warmer they were kept, the shorter the window, on one end of the scale, (above 75F) but below 45-50F, the colder, the shorter time they'll survive. At Around 50-60F, they can wait quite a while and be fine.

Good luck, hope you have a good hatch.

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