1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

How long to hold eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sherry, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Sherry

    Sherry Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    Southern WV
    I'm thinking of taking some eggs from my RIR's to hatch in my incubator. How long can I hold the eggs? And how do I store them until they go in?

    I've hatched guineas and button quail but not chickens.

  2. beekybuzzard

    beekybuzzard Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    I don't keep mine for more than a week before putting in the bator and just leave them in a couple of cartons on the counter at room temp.
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Good advise. You want eggs that have been laid with in the week if at all possible, I kept my mutt EE eggs at room temp before putting them in the bator..
  4. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    I have heard from others on BYC that up to 10 days and you are safe. But I also believe they are more fertile the fresher they are.
  5. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Preferably not more than 10days but if you have a reason to and don't care that the hatch rate might go down a little you can set eggs weeks old and they still have a fair chance of hatching. I wanted so many eggs from a certain hen that decided not to lay the first few days I was collected so I have some 2week old eggs. I end up collecting more in that time so if fewer hatch I'll still come out the same. Storage will also impact how long they last. There was a thread talking about how eggs actually last longer if stored in plastic so they don't lose moisture.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  6. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    After about 10 days the fertility starts to drop, it's about the longest I will keep my eggs for setting.

    I also keep mine in a room that is around 60-65 degrees and tilt the carton twice a day.
  7. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    But, if you think about a broody hen... she waits until she has a large clutch of eggs. My ol' broody would hatch as many as 17 at a time. I think I'd try eggs 2 weeks old.

  8. Bamaman

    Bamaman In the Brooder

    Sep 12, 2007
    cullman and auburn, al
    I have successfully hached eggs that were 3 weeks old. They stayed at room temp for 3 weeks and I turned them 2 to 3 times a day during storage. Of course this was a one time thing and it was only 3 eggs, but every one of them hatched. However, I will say fresher is better.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by