How quickly do eggs cool off when it's freezing out?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hurley, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Hurley

    Hurley Egg Of A Different Color

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    Mar 17, 2010
    Palmyra, WI
    My Coop
    Granted, a lot depends on temp outside, snugness of coop, presence of heating, but just wondering for the sake of curiosity how quickly I would have to collect fertile eggs after being laid to have a chance at hatching some? I'd like to try my hand at hatching.

    It's about 20 something out here, the coop is tight except for a pop door that's open opposite the nest box, insultated walls and floors, 4 x 6 coop.

    I realize it would be just a guess, but anyone know approximately? 5 min? An hour? Few Hours? Sometime that day?

    How cold can eggs get and not be affected?

    I've not yet found one frozen out there, collecting daily (judging by the spinning test for hard boiled eggs... frozen egg should react the same way). But the eggs feel quite cold when I find them.
     
  2. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want to hatch them, you probably shouldn't let them get below about 45 internal temp. So, if it's in the 20's, you probably are safe leaving them in the nest box for 3-4 hours, I'm guessing.

    Actually, over the past 2 winters here in Michigan, I found that eggs generally didn't freeze unless the night temp fell below about 10-12 degrees -- I guess the box was insulated enough, and I have read that eggs, because of the high amount of proteins, fats, and other components beside water, don't freeze until something like 28 degrees internal temperature (I believe that this is sort of an average -- I think I recall whites freeze at 29, yolks a little colder).

    People have successfully incubated eggs from the refrigerator, even commercial purchased fertile, refrigerated eggs from places like Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, so as long a the eggs aren't frozen, there is a chance they will survive and grow.
     
  3. Hurley

    Hurley Egg Of A Different Color

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    Mar 17, 2010
    Palmyra, WI
    My Coop
    Thanks for the response!

    I know I've pulled eggs from the coop that were really cold to the touch, feeling freezing, but when I spin them still show the inside was unfrozen.

    The coop is pretty shielded and snug, but water if left long enough will freeze out there so I know they get down there.


    Think I'll just go out every couple hours over the next couple days to collect a group to practice chicken hatching. Thanks for the input.

    I measured the egg storing area in my refridgerator and the probe in the egg carton bottomed out at 42 degrees. Think that is ok for storing to set a clutch?
     
  4. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last year I threw some eggs that I had collected from my flock that I had in the refrigerator for almost a week into my bator. I had some room left and thought what the heck, couldn't hurt. 3 out of 4 of them hatched healthy babies. I was shocked. I think as long as the egg isn't frozen, you have a shot.
     

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