How long do eggs last and...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chicken_noob, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. chicken_noob

    chicken_noob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How long do eggs last and are still able to be hatched. Like if I only 1 chicken I wanted to breed and it laid 1 egg/day how many days could I collect eggs before I "had" to start the bator up. Thanks for the info.
     
  2. Glenmar

    Glenmar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would not set any eggs older than 10 days. I think someone on here had some that were 15 days and still hatched.
     
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    I have gone 10 days and still had good hatches. Some people say store the eggs at cooler temperatures until you are ready to set the eggs in the incubator but I have had many successful hatches with eggs stored at room temp. A BYC member has a thread with eggs that were around a month old and did have a couple of chicks hatch out of I believe 20 eggs.
     
  4. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can do better than that! At the start of the year I wanted to do just what you're asking about, setting eggs from just one hen. Each egg I collected, I wrote the date on it. I did a staggered hatch, with three different batches of eggs and three different hatch days. Some of the eggs were over 20 days old. And I still managed to get 12 healthy chicks from 20 fertile eggs. That's a 60% hatch rate, which I was very happy with, considering the circumstances.

    The funny thing I noticed was that the older eggs had a higher success rate than the fresher ones. More of the chicks came from eggs set 10-20 days after being collected than from the eggs that were set within the first 10 days. And the two freshest eggs in the last batch didn't hatch, while the two oldest ones did. Weird...

    I'd say, collect as many eggs as you like and do an experiment with them. I mean, you don't really have anything to lose by setting old eggs, as you'll always have some fresh ones in the bator too. The old eggs can't affect the hatch rate of the fresher ones just by being in there, so you might as well collect a good few and see what happens. If it was me, I'd collect for at least two weeks and possibly even three.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  5. featherworks

    featherworks Out Of The Brooder

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    You can also look at it this way... In the wild , or in a pen, if a hen gets ready so set she can't lay all her eggs in a couple of days. I had a Mottled duck hen in one of my aviaries that took over a month to lay 10 eggs before she begain to set. I was getting worried!! After another 28 days, she hatched 9 out of 10. I'd say gather what you think is good and take good care of them. Good luck!!
     
  6. chicken_noob

    chicken_noob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info.
     
  7. Cadjien_De_Louisiane

    Cadjien_De_Louisiane SWLA Gamefowl Breeder

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    The logest I have went is 7 days, I will collect each day at the same time and put them in an egg carton, also I flip the hole egg carton once a day at the same time each day. Im only on my fourth hatch. Most people say 10days with hatch rate dropping fast after that.
     
  8. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Over a month? Wow. And a 90% hatch rate. That's very impressive.

    Quote:I think most people say that purely because that is what they have been told. And because they have been told it, most people don't ever experiment with old eggs to find out for themselves how well they actually do. So it just turns into a long chain of "I've been told"s without any real evidence backing it up. My own experience has shown me that 10-20 day old eggs do every bit as well as, and sometimes even better than, fresher eggs. I was as surprised as anyone to find that out, cause it's something I sure wasn't expecting to happen, but now I happily set eggs up to three weeks old without worrying about them. I think a lot of the problems with fertility dropping in old eggs is to do with storage conditions. If you improve your storage conditions, you can vastly improve your hatch rate, even with eggs well over 10 days old.
     
  9. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have hatched eggs up to 17 days old (cooled to 50f). However after day 8, the hatch rate starts to decline about 3-5% per day. Older eggs hatch better if they are not turned the first 2-3 days, in my experience.
     

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