How long can you keep fertilized eggs on the kitchen bench before putting them under a hen?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sophia5, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. Sophia5

    Sophia5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was thinking of buying a dozen heritage breed eggs and put six under my broody bantam and wait until my other bantam goes broody (who seems to be going broody). But I'm not so sure how long I should keep the eggs on the bench or in the cupboard.
    What do you guys think?
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Ideally eggs should be set within a week of being laid, for best results, but you can store them up to 2 weeks and still get a fairly decent hatch. I've heard of 21 day old eggs hatching successfully, but I wouldn't recommend it. After 10 days the hatchability of the eggs starts dropping significantly and by day 18 you risk encountering problems.

    During storage, keep in the eggs in egg cartons, with the fat end up, if possible keep them at a temperature of around 55-60*F and a humidity of 65-70% and turn or tilt the eggs at least once a day to keep the yolks centred.
     
  3. buckey

    buckey New Egg

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    thanks for the info.i have always been told that you have to turn eggs while you are waiting to put them in incubator.most of what I have read just says to store with big end up. they say nothing about turning daily. I put mine in a carton and just turn the carton over. it has worked pretty well for me.
     
  4. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I put a book on one end and once or twice a day move the book to the other end of the carton, I'm sure its a misunderstanding on my part but you know not to turn them completely over correct?? [​IMG]
     
  5. buckey

    buckey New Egg

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    ive always just turned the carton over .that's the way ive done it for years and always had good success.. thanks thought now I know why people don't talk about turning them.got some marans eggs in the carton to set this weekend gonna try it your way. I learn something new every day with the chickens
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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  7. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Keeping hatching egg in any other fashion EXCEPT THE FASHION that sumi recommends is asking for trouble.

    This can be especially true when ordering rare breed eggs from flocks that may not have enough hens to guarantee that every egg is only a day or two old when it is shipped. There is no reliable way to tell how long an egg has been laid except to maybe break it into a saucer like it was Humpty Dumpty. Keeping eggs on a counter in a hot kitchen will likely result in some early chick development or it may also result in moisture loss from the egg, and this is not healthy for the peeps and it may also result in one or two chicks hatching early and this means a broody hen may well leave the nest with only one or two early chicks or get antsy if she can't leave the nest and trample all the pipped chicks and unhatched eggs flat as a taco shell.
     
  8. chickentrack

    chickentrack Out Of The Brooder

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    helpful
     

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