How soon after an egg is laid does it need to start incubating?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jimandcaitlin, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. jimandcaitlin

    jimandcaitlin Out Of The Brooder

    60
    3
    41
    May 10, 2014
    We just got an incubator and want to try hatching some eggs. How quickly do I need to get the egg after it's laid and get it in the incubator? Can an egg that is cold still be hatched or do I need to get to it right away while it's still warm?

    Also, once I have eggs in my incubator, can I add additional eggs in there or should I only add them one "batch" at a time?

    Thanks!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    65,186
    13,228
    786
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Eggs can easily be held up to 10 days (far longer actually in my experience) and still maintain good viability. In my experience it's better to start an entire batch at one time unless you have a separate 'hatcher'. As a kid (long, long ago) I had one incubator - a round metal Sears thing. I would hatch a batch, sanitize, and start another batch - I sometimes held eggs up to 21 days and still had good % hatches.
     
  3. jimandcaitlin

    jimandcaitlin Out Of The Brooder

    60
    3
    41
    May 10, 2014
    Do you just keep them at room temperature? Temperatures here are cold right now, will it be ok if it's been sitting outside in close to freezing temperatures for a few hours?
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    65,186
    13,228
    786
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    A couple of hours out in the cold should not be a problem - freezing is a big problem. I used to store/keep my eggs in an earthen cellar which stayed at around 60 F and 50 % humidity. Eggs were turned daily while waiting to be incubated.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by