how long can I keep eggs


12 Years
Mar 17, 2010
essexville, michigan
I'm in the middle of rebuilding my old styrofoam bator, tore everything down, and will put it in a bigger bator made from a steel sided cooler. Got a call today saying my eggs were ready to be picked up, Local lady that raises chickens and sells eggs.
My question is, how long can I keep the eggs before putting them in the bator. Do I keep them at room temp, or something close, or do they go in the fridge. Thanks

I'm interested in this too....but I'm doing duck....

Don't we need to turn them or something too if we are saving them up to hatch?
What I have read, and I have never used an incubator: They keep pretty well for a week or so at room temp. I think most turn them once or twice a day while others do not. The hatch rate starts going down quickly after a week. People have hatched refrigerated eggs, yes, even from a grocery store. But room emp seems to be the preferred way to store hatching eggs. In nature, the mother hen lays a clutch, probably usuallly 7-10, then starts setting on them. Good chance she turns them some just getting on and off the nest.
I also heard that, after a week, the mortality rate of the embryo starts decreasing. Now, I store mine in the basement in an egg carton because it's cool down there. Probably in the 60s.

A friend of mine collects eggs for 20 days and says they still hatch. I'll go two weeks......If you're hatching your own eggs, why not try a little experiment.....Write the date on each egg, begin incubating and then you can see for yourself how long an egg generally will stay hatchable.....

Just a suggestion.....
and the eggs need to be clean and not washed, correct?

I was told with my ducks to leave the eggs in the nest to encourage broodiness so I had done that. Unfortunately my GOAT got in there and thought she could find food and disturbed the nest and broke one egg on top of the others.

So this batch is spoiled, correct? The broken egg I mean.

I was hatching under a broody chicken last year and she broke an egg setting and none of that group hatched. I don't know if that was coincidence, or if I should have washed off the egg, or what?

I guess I'm asking what spoils an egg while you are "keeping" it?
This is my first hatch (going in the incubator today!) so I'm not experienced but here's what I learned:

Eggs are best stored at 55-60 degrees F. and turned a couple times a day.

I've heard that they can be kept for 7 days, 10 days, two weeks--but the older ones are more likely to fail to hatch. The oldest I'm putting in is 10 days old. We'll see!

As far as washing, I heard not to use water on them, but I have cleaned them with a soft cloth to remove shavings and some soil. I am not using eggs with dried blood on the shell because I'm concerned about bacteria in that high heat.
How you should store them depends on how long you're going to store them for. Up to a week, cool room temp is fine and you don't need to turn them. Longer than a week and you should turn them at least once a day. Any longer than about ten days and you should store them in the fridge. I got all that info from a great online guide to incubating from the University of Texas. They've got loads of stuff about how best to store yoiur eggs in order to maximise your hatch rates. If you google you'll be able to find it.

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