How Long Can I Save Eggs to Hatch?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by HoustonChicks, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. HoustonChicks

    HoustonChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    I'd like to save eggs to put under a setting hen. I want to gather whatever is laid and start them all at the same time with the hen. A hen lays eggs on consecutive days & they sit there without ruining before she starts to sit, so I figure I can gather the eggs I want and start them all at the same time to hatch. I've saved a couple of days' worth at room temperature (no refrigeration!!). So, how long can I put eggs aside before putting them under the hen? Thanks. Now, if I could just pick the eggs that are hen-only, no roosters!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You might want to read through this. It's talking primarily to people using incubators but it has some good information on storing eggs for incubation, and that is the same whether it is for an incubator or a broody.

    Texas A&M Incubation site
    http://gallus.tamu.edu/library/extpublications/b6092.pdf

    The short answer is you can store them for about a week at "room" temperature without a problem. If you store them longer than that, they need to be turned and it really helps if the place is a little on the cool side. If the humidity is up there a bit, that helps too. It is not a case that at a certain age they automatically go from hatching with no problem to none of them hatching, but more that the longer you keep them, the less likely they are to hatch. And the better conditions you keep them in, the longer that time period will be.

    On room temperature. You don't want room temperature to be too high. I don't know the exact temperature fertile eggs will develop, but it is a lot lower than incubating temperature. If you store them too warm, some can hatch quite a bit before others.

    I have real troubles here in the middle of the sumner because we don't keep our air conditioning cranked real low, but anything below 80* F is probably OK. Some people in really hot climates do keep their eggs in a refrigerator, but that is in the warmest part of a refrigerator with the controls set a little warm, or maybe a specific refrigerator just for hatching eggs set really warm.
     
  3. dreamer5577

    dreamer5577 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Up to 7 days at room temperature. I've been told to be sure to store them pointy end down.
     
  4. Atlantakycklingar

    Atlantakycklingar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I put some in a wine cellar for 14 days and they all developed. Temp was 55.7 degrees and 70% humidity.

    My issue was during hatching, I didn't take into account all the moisture loss from those 14 days, and I should have increased the incubating humidity instead of dry incubating.
     
  5. HoustonChicks

    HoustonChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you; the link provided me with almost all I needed to know. In 2 days I've collected more eggs than I probably need. I'd like to see how many Ameracauna blue eggs I get before I include all the Silkie eggs. I don't know how much room is available under a bantam setting hen! I can always get good info here, so thanks again.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Yeah, chickens come in different sizes and eggs come in different sizes. I've seen full sized hens cover up to 18 eggs the same size that she lays (actually she laid them in a hidden nest), but I usually limit it to 12 eggs. Some bantams would be stretched to cover 4 full sized eggs. I can't give you a hard and fast number but she needs to be able to cover the eggs comfortably with room to spare in case another hen lays an egg with her if you don't isolate her.

    In the winter, I cut back a little. The hen needs to be able to cover the chicks as they grow. I the summer it is not a big deal. Even if she can't cover them all by the time they are a couple of weeks old, they manage. But in the winter, I'd want them covered a bit longer.
     
  7. debs_flock

    debs_flock Overrun With Chickens

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    I have eggs set right now that I wanted a batch of my campines. I only had one pullet laying, so I decided to save for 10 days. My husband insisted we save the first egg at 11 days out also. Another pullet started to lay, so during the 11 days I ended up with 12 eggs. I collected my eggs by placing them in the turner and just left it running sitting on a table. You could do the same thing by collecting in a carton and tipping the carton from side to side about 3 times per day.

    I'm now on day 9 in the incubation and all 12 eggs are developing well.

    Good luck,
    Deb
     

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