Incubating Questions

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by yanks26, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. yanks26

    yanks26 Songster

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    Ok here is a hypothetical scenario:

    I have 10 female white-leghorns and 1 male leghorn to make the eggs fertile. I have an incubator which holds 270 eggs. I want to save up enough eggs to fill the whole incubator.

    1) How long do fertile eggs last for after they are laid?
    2) What do I store fertile eggs in so that they remain fertile for a while?

    I do not want to start the incubator until I fill up all 270 spots. Is this possible?
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  2. SpunkyTheMonkey

    SpunkyTheMonkey King of the Intardnets

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    May 8, 2009
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    well a hen will lay about a dozen or so before she starts to incubate them so anything up to about 2 weeks old is perfectly normal. i don't know how long other people keep them for but i'd say any longer than that and the hatch rate will probably start to suffer.

    you should store them in egg cartons or egg flats, pointy end down, at about 50F iirc...

    (again iirc) if you're going to store them for more than 1 week after lay then you should tilt the egg flats at 45 degrees and tilt it the other way the following day, etc.

    it's going to take you about a month to fill your bator, so no, not going to happen. i'd kick it off after a fortnight with whatever you have if i was you (probably ~120). once that lot grows up and starts laying, you'll have no trouble filling it up as quickly as you want.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  3. CindyS

    CindyS Songster

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    I am thinking you need another egg source to fill your bator! I would not save for more than 10 days, and if each hen laid every day that would be 100 eggs, way short of 270. You could save them longer but having a bunch of eggs in there that are too old taking up space would not make sense. Oh, for your other question, store the eggs in the coolest spot in the house. You want to keep them under between 55 and 68 if possible for the best results.
     
  4. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you have a cabinet type (Sportsman) incubator. Each of the three trays holds 90 eggs. If you collect eggs for 10 days, you would have enough to fill one tray. Begin incubation when you can fill the first tray. Collect eggs for another 10 days to get enough for the second tray. Begin incubating that tray, along with the first tray. Keep collecting eggs. By the time you get enough eggs for the last tray, tray one will be near hatching. Move them to the hatcher on day 19 and load the last collection of eggs. With this method, you could have up to 90 chicks hatching every ten days. May not be exactly what you had in mine, but at least you're not running your bator for 21 days for 10 days worth of eggs. I do staggered hatches all the time with great success.

    Just a suggestion.
     
  5. yanks26

    yanks26 Songster

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    Quote:So the hatcher is just a flat surface right? I am kind of confused why people use hatchers rather than leaving them in the incubator.
     
  6. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

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    If it is a Sportsman, you should either have a hardwire cloth "basket" or cardboard type tray that is in the bottom. This is where you move eggs to on day 19. That way you can keep incubating and turning eggs on the upper levels. I had a few chicks hatch before I moved them to the bottom one time. They ended up falling from the top rack to the bottom flat surface. Luckily they were okay, but they could have been hurt. If you're going to hatch at any level but the bottom, you need to make or buy a basket that will contain them on that level.
     
  7. yanks26

    yanks26 Songster

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    Oo ok good to know. Thanks! I did not realize there was a hatcher on the bottom.

    But what if I try to hatch all 3 trays at the same time? There is no way there is enough room in the hatching tray for all of them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009

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