how long can eggs sit before they are non-viable ?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Kaneke, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Kaneke

    Kaneke Songster

    newbie wants to know:

    how long can eggs sit in a nesting place (free range wild chickens) with the temperature not below 55*, and still be hatchable if I can find/borrow/make/buy an incubator (or borrow a broody hen) ?

    if I put them in cool water to see which float and which sink, will that destroy the coating that keeps them safe ?

    does the float/sink experiment even make sense ?

    for some of the eggs, I'm sure it's been at least three weeks -- it took me awhile to find the nests, and there are nine in one nest and probably a dozen in another

    whatever hen laid these, either was caught by wild cats or at least has not become broody

  2. snugglepup

    snugglepup Songster

    Apr 15, 2007
    Creedmoor, NC
    I have left eggs at room temp for 2 weeks and noticed no difference in hatching rate. I would guess that eggs kept cooler, would do better than eggs kept warmer.

    Why don't you try it and let us know? [​IMG]
  3. radmann

    radmann Hatching

    Jan 15, 2008
    Dunedin, NZ
    I have a hen that constantly disappears to lay her eggs, she lays one a day for up to 12 days, then sits and pops out 3 weeks later with a full clutch! So I would say at least 12 days normal temp, longer if cooler.
  4. Kaneke

    Kaneke Songster

    well, I collected all the eggs from under the solar panel

    there were 17 of them

    tried the "float/sink" test

    the four eggs which looked like banty eggs, definitely floated; I may wash them carefully and crack a couple to see what happened (they may be empty or totally dried out) ... then crush the shells and put them out for the hens ...

    one of the apparent-standard eggs also floated .. bobbed, really

    two more stood up, with round end down and pointy end up

    all the others just sat horizontally on the bottom of the pan of water ... and a lot of them were pretty dirty with feathers stuck to them and dirt from the ground (it's been raining here), so I brushed them gently with my fingers while underwater, then put them in a grass nest inside the open coop, will see if any of the hens decide to "adopt" them, if not ...

    well, today I bought a thrift-store lamp (including bulb), and an Omaha Steak styro box, and a water-heater thermostat (at Home Depot not thrift store), and I think I have an old computer in storage "supposedly nonfunctional" so I can rob the fan out of that ... and we have "hardware cloth" in the yard, also the expanded-aluminum grille out of a screen door (smaller holes)

    so I guess about all I need is a thermometer/hygrometer; the guys at Home Depot didn't seem to know what I was talking about

    will keep checking on the nest underneath the circuit-breaker box (or it may be for the cable TV),
    since I HAVE seen a hen sitting there ... and those
    eggs were protected from rain, don't look muddy or
    messy ... also that location is more shaded and

    friend will be loaning me her Easter Egg layer in the
    next couple of days (I bought a pet-food feeder for the hen since she will be cooped up while the rest of the flock is free range ...) ... also need to make a better waterer ...

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