How long can eggs set out before going in incubater?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by craig g, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. craig g

    craig g Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 14, 2008
    I have just bought an incubater it is being shipped. How long can eggs set out before going in incubater? thanks craig
  2. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    I have a post a couple down from yours and in it someone said if they are eggs you have shipped to you they shouldn't set out more than 6 hours. If they are your eggs, I think you can refrigerate them before incubating, but I'm not certain.
  3. craig g

    craig g Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 14, 2008
    I know a chicken layes one egg a day and may lay 12 to 14 eggs before she starts setting. So that is 12 or 14 days out but does anybody know how much long they can set out before setting?
  4. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    It's best not to leave them out longer than 7-10 days, after that the hatchability drops. I wouldn't recommend putting them in the refridgerator. Some people have had success with hatching refridgerated eggs, but if they get too cold it can damage them. Your best bet is to keep them at room temperature (provided your house is not an oven) in an egg carton, and tilt the carton at least once a day. I have 3 hens that layed a total of 30+ eggs each before they ever sat on any, but I took the eggs and set them in the incubator.
  5. seriousbill

    seriousbill Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2008
    At room temperature, hatchability starts to drop after 4 or so days. It drops a lot after a week. So, it's best to store hatching eggs in a cool, humid area to keep them as fresh as possible. Most refrigerators are set too cold for hatching eggs and can hurt hatchability; however, if you're talking about an extra fridge that's been set up higher than normal, that could be good. Eggs should generally be stored at around 50-55 degrees F and 65-70% humidity. For most, that might mean a basement or cellar. Even with these conditions, though, the best you can usually hope for is 10 days. After that, hatchability drops way, way down.
  6. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    Quote:Craig, I agree 100%. We have chickens that lay in the summer here, upper 80's to 90's. They will lay 15 eggs and hatch a good percentage of them. I guess they don't know that the hatchability is supposed to go down. Please don't tell them. [​IMG]

    Steve in NC
  7. seriousbill

    seriousbill Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2008
    I also have hens that lay large clutches and go broody and they hatch out most of those. I've also had (especially older) hens lay eggs that absolutely would not hatch if you held them more than three days (believe me, I tried). I ended up setting her eggs one at a time and staggering the hatches so I could get chicks.

    Anyway, the point here isn't when will all the eggs fail? It is when do they begin to lose viability? And they just begin to lose viability after a few days. So, let's say you've got a dozen eggs that were just laid fresh that day; okay, you set those, and you get 100% hatch. Those same eggs left out on the counter for 5 days bring you a 90% hatch. The same eggs left out for a week bring you an 75% hatch. Let's say after ten days, you get a 55% hatch. That's still 7 chicks. And if a broody brought you seven chicks out of the barn, you'd think, hey, okay! But you lost nearly half of your hatchability, and if you're saving eggs out for an incubator, that's not ideal.
  8. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Try not to go more than 7-10 days.
  9. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Yes 10 days at most, 2 week old some will hatch. I myself set them one a week. nice to have all due the same day every week.

    In nature the hen will lay their eggs in the shade, so eggs dont get to hot. Before man started breeding super layer. they laid in the cooler days in the spring. NOT year round.

    Heat more problem than to cool. You can keep a little longer if stored in the fridge if you turn and make sure temp. is above 50 degree.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  10. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    The max I believe is 2 weeks, 14 days from lay to incubation - no fridge please.

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