How long can I collect and store eggs for for incubating?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Chicken Fruit, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    3-4 days?

    Do you suppose that high 50's to mid 60's is an okay temp to store them at? We dont heat the upstairs of our house and its generally about 64 degrees up there in the day and night (it might drop a little if its in the 30's outside) so I was thinking I could keep them up there.

    I keep my fridge ice cold so thats not an option.

    Any tips would be nice.

    Should I turn them while theyre waiting, and if so how often?
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    If you have a foam incubator with a turner you can take that out an set it on the counter to collect them in. If not just turn them at least once a day. No need to be cold. They keep for up to 14 days at 75*F. After 14 days they start losing hatchability. If you need to collect longer than 14 days then you need to start thinking about storage temp.
  3. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    Wow really? That long and at that temp? Hey thats good news... I could gather up an army of eggs in that amount of time... lol.
  4. Junkmanme

    Junkmanme Chillin' With My Peeps

    I read on a paper from Mississippi State University that:

    1. eggs should be kept at 50F to 55F when storing.

    2. eggs should be turned while storing (I think maybe 3 times/day).

    3. eggs should remain viable for a week. Viabilility drops as storage is longer. Eggs stored 3 weeks have almost ZERO viability.

    4. Perhaps you can find the info at the M.S.U. website. SEARCH for "Incubating Trouble-Shooting". That might get you the info. (I found it at another Chicken Forum.)

    hope this helps, [​IMG]
    -Junkmanme- [​IMG]
  5. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    Figure two weeks then a slow decline. I've hatched four and five week old eggs, never six. Though someone here did recently hatch one chick from a batch of nasty oozy six week eggs. That was flat amazing.

    The newer the better, after 10 days - 2 weeks depending on what you read it begins to drop.

    I've hatched them having been stored on counter tops, in cupboards - slightly cooler, and refridgerated. I've brought them in all but iced over from the coops in Jan/Feb and still had them hatch.

    I've hatched them after they've been rained on, muddy and left out in the cold spring weather for more than a week.

    Best is that first thing - fresh to about 14 days. After that it's luck of the draw. Not much is totally impossible, nature is a pretty determined lady.

    I'm one of those people who is sure rules are for everyone else. So I've pretty much done everything you're not supposed to and had it work all too often. LOL.

    So now I'm impossible.
  6. Junkmanme

    Junkmanme Chillin' With My Peeps

    WalksWithDog wrote:


    I'm one of those people who is sure rules are for everyone else. So I've pretty much done everything you're not supposed to and had it work all too often. LOL.

    So now I'm impossible. (unquote)

    YEP !! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    -Junkmanme-[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  7. evonne

    evonne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Las Vegas
    i'm in las vegas, i haven't had my chicks laying during summer yet as they were born early may this year, but other people keep broody chickens here..
    if you think about it, the temps get up into the 3 digits here in full swing summer... and the eggs sit in the nest for a week or so until the hen is ready to set them...

    now i wouldn't eat one that sat for a week out in the heat, but i'd for sure pop it in the bator....

    i'm running my chickens on the walkswithdog's method.. if it's not sposed to be done i've probly done it and my birds are still fine... lol..
    i've got a till air bator going right now and i haven't shecked the temp on it since i started it, and the humidity?? yeah.. ppffttt okay.. i do have water in the little things at the bottom.. do i know what the humidity is?? nope... do i care? maybe for curiosity's sake.. they'll either hatch or they wont.. it's my first bator hatch, first hatch ever really... and they're mutt EE/leghorn eggs from my hen.. i might be a little more particular when i get my MFCochin eggs in the spring, but only if i have problems with these.. lol.. if they hatch out all 6 of them jsut fine, then i know i'm fine with my methods.. lol...

    good luck with your hatch
  8. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Think about it, a chicken hen lays an egg an day until she gets 15 eggs-ish before she sits. I think you can go 2 weeks easy.

    Steve in NC
  9. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Eggs are best kept in the 50-60s range so that's perfect. The best hatch rate is within 7-10days but it won't drop off too quickly so 2 weeks isn't bad. You might get a couple less that develop if you wait that long though. Hatch rate is not 0 at 3weeks if the eggs are kept quite cool. If you aren't setting eggs for more than 10-14 days they keep best in the fridge. After some hens got killed and I wanted more of that type I set eggs that had been in the fridge 2-3weeks and still hatched 50% which is about what I get on shipped eggs. I've also done it with button quail eggs when I lost a hen and wanted offspring from her and I got more like 75%. On the counter or up around 70 and higher they will not keep as long. I would not try to collect for 2 weeks if they are kept that warm. The hatch rate will drop much more significantly after 10days if they aren't kept as cool.

    Chickens just lay eggs until they feel like sitting. If you didn't collect eggs frequently many of the eggs they try to sit on would go rotten. The hen usually instinctively knows an egg is going bad and kicks it out to keep the nest clean. Occasionally though they'll actually let an old egg reach the point of exploding under them and ruining all the eggs. I would not trust a hen to know how long to store eggs.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  10. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    I find it absouletly amazing that the genetic viability of chicken eggs can remain intact for such a long time. DNA as such a fragile thing!

    But yeah, it does make sense considering a hen will lay eggs in a single nest and not sit on them until she has nearly a dozen or more.

    Anyone selling, or know of a cheap, bator with turner?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by