I have some beginners questions for you, promise not to laugh.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by henpeckedmuch, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. henpeckedmuch

    henpeckedmuch Chirping

    Jul 25, 2011
    How is it that a person has say a dozen eggs or so and it is obvious that they were layed over a period of days, yet they all hatch out at almost the same time ?
    Is there a way to keep fertilized eggs in suspended animation until you have enough of them to place in an incubator?
    When someone is advertising 10 or 12 eggs of a certain chicken type, lets say Silver Laced Wyndotte, are all the eggs from the same chicken and rooster?
    I told you these were beginners questions, so stop laughing so hard, and educate me. Thanks for your replies.

  2. silkielover5

    silkielover5 Songster

    Sep 11, 2011
    Hudson WI
    for the first question you can store eggs for up to 10 days before incubating and it will not effect the hatch rate. and the eggs would probley be from the same rooster but different hens and there are ways to store hatching eggs properly but i dont remember much exept for, a cool dark room
  3. rungirl

    rungirl Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    Yes, the eggs don't start developing until they are kept at 99 degrees... like under a hen or in an incubator.
  4. The scientists and veterans amongst us suggest storing eggs in a carton, at a constant temp somewhere between 55 and 65 degrees. This does put them in a sort of suspended-animation. Each day you can put something (say a small piece of 2x4) under one end of the carton, so that the yolks don't settle to one side of the egg. Then later, switch the prop to the other side of the egg carton. Kinda like turning them once they are in an incubator. Then on starting day, set the eggs out of the cool spot and let them come to room temp before putting them in the incubator. The eggs should hatch within 24-36 hours of each other. Bantams and other smaller eggs tend to hatch first, at least in my experience.

    I'd say that most single-breed batches of eggs sold in small numbers are from the same rooster, who is in a pen with several hens.

    Hope I cleared a couple questions up, and if anyone has correction, please feel free! I may be passing on something that is less-than-factual, because there are plenty of different methods out there. Good luck on your hatch!
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  5. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    x2 Good details Cat!

    The hen will lay an egg in her nest about 1 a day for many days to weeks. THe eggs are not doing much, just waiting for the hen to lay on top and heat them up to 100 degrees and then they start to incubate. The benefit is they all hatch at the same time for mamma hen to take dare of.

    Eggs at 7 days old average 75% hatch rate; by 21 days they average 0 % hatch rate.

    Storage is best at 50-65 degrees; under 40 kills them. Over 80 degrees and the embryo does slowly start to grow but it usually results in death. At 99 degrees is speeds right along in its development to aprear at 21 days. SLightly higher (100-101) results in faster hatching time , but often a weaker chick.

    No stupid questions here! Ask away . . . .
  6. silky_3699

    silky_3699 Songster

    Aug 15, 2011
    My Own Realm!!!
    so you can keep eggs for up to 10 days as silkielover5 said. but they will only hatch when they have been put in an incubator or under a hen. once they start incubating and getting warm. that is when they will start forming and grow into chickens and that is why they will all hatch on the same day.
  7. henpeckedmuch

    henpeckedmuch Chirping

    Jul 25, 2011
    Thanks people for the education, I now have a better understanding of how there reproduction system works.

    I think chickens are AWESOME! Can you imagine they can regulate their hatch by putting the earilier layed eggs in suspended animation until they have a large enough catch?

    Now this information leads to another question.
    If we want a hen to go broody but we are picking up her eggs every day, will she still go broody? Or, should we leave her eggs in the nest in hopes of her going broody?

  8. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    IF you pick up the eggs everyday, a hen will usually not go broody.

    Some breeds love to go broody and other breeds have had this bred out of them; and there's everything in between.

    There is a broody chicken thread that you may find interesting to read; it's very popular and so has a zillion posts. Just start at the beginning . . .
  9. mychookschick

    mychookschick Songster

    Aug 28, 2009
    Well, there is no way to "force" a hen to go broody. They have to choose it all on their own. Although, some breeds are more likely to go broody than others. Usually they won't go broody until after they turn 1, if ever.

    I would pick up your eggs. But, I keep golf balls in my nest boxes and they mistake them for eggs, and just sit on those. That way, you can be eating or selling your eggs, and when a hen goes broody, you can save some up and put them under her.
  10. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Hey, better you ask all the questions now rather than sit tight and still be wondering about them years later. Now THAT would really be silly!

    Most people selling purebreed eggs will have one roo in a pen with 3-8 hens. Any fewer than three hens and it would take longer than most buyers would be happy with to collect 6 or 12 eggs. Any more than 6-8 hens and the roo might have too much work to do and not all of the eggs would be fertilised. A few times I've seen folk with breeding pens of two roos and more than 10 hens. As long as the roos get on okay, that's a perfectly good way to do things too.

    All that's just for breeders who are selling eggs and expecting to get a reasonable price for them though. If you're wanting to keep buyers happy you really have to send eggs that are no older than a few days and have a high fertility rate. If you're not selling eggs you can arrange your breeding groups whatever way you like of course. Some people keep just one each of a roo and a hen, and store their eggs for up to a month before incubating any of them. (I've done this and had great hatches from 21+ day old eggs.) And some people might have as many as 20 hens per roo and still have high fertility with their eggs.

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