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Letting eggs 'rest'

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sterkfarm, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. Sterkfarm

    Sterkfarm In the Brooder

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    Hi hatchaholics! Just wondering....I see a lot of info about waiting for shipped eggs to settle before setting...and certainly get why....but my question is this: say My eggs arent shipped. Is there any reason I should let freshly laid eggs 'rest' before setting? so for example; say I get two eggs a day from a breeding pair. Every day I throw the eggs into the brinsea, turn on autoturn, and just keep popping in two eggs every day, turning but no heat. On day six, ill have my last two eggs. Should I let them hang out for a bit before actually turning on the heat in the brinsea? Meaning, some will be six days old, some will be five, some will be hours 'old'. Set, or wait? I hope I'm making sense. It's so hard sometimes to put ideas into text....
    Gah! As I read this it doesn't make sense to me. basically: set eggs as soon as they are laid, or wait?
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    You can do it either way. There is no absolute best answer to this question. I’ll help you overthink it though.

    The longer an egg is stored, the more hatchability drops. If your temperature and humidity are reasonable, a week of storage won’t hurt significantly. The drier the humidity the faster hatchability drops. If you get them too warm they can start to develop to appoint it hurts them. Supposedly that can happen somewhere in the 80’s. If they get too cold, the embryo can be hurt. But there is a wide range where this stuff just doesn’t matter. The further you are from the ideal and the longer you are at those extremes the more damage can be done. But unless you get a bit unreasonable, it just doesn’t matter. Don’t overstress about this.

    Each egg is different when it is laid. Even an egg laid by the same hen may have more or less porosity, a thicker or thinner shell, or the consistency of the egg white may be different. Some of these might be helped by a day or two of storage. How do you know which ones? Supposedly the ones early in her laying cycle are the ones that can best benefit from a bit of storage.

    Hatcheries that use incubators that hold 60,000 or 120,000 eggs each and maybe hatch 1,000,000 chicks a week worry about these types of things. A minor difference in hatch rate soon becomes significant. A 1% difference in hatch rate means 10,000 chicks a week or 520,000 chicks a year. That’s noticeable.

    I hatch maybe 40 chicks a year. I’d never notice a 1% difference in hatch rate. How many do you hatch a year?

    You can worry about this stuff if you wish, but frankly, I don’t. When I get all the eggs I want to incubate, I put them in the incubator or under a broody. At the end of the day, I doubt I’ll notice a difference.
     
  3. LTygress

    LTygress Songster

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    What Ridgerunner said, for the most part. We backyard chicken people don't have to worry about losing hatch rate too much. When I gather eggs to set all at once, I just put them in a basket (doesn't matter how they are turned either) and set them on a shelf until they go into the incubator. No special heat or humidity adjustments.

    But keep in mind that chicks won't start developing until they are introduced to the heat. As he said, about the 80-degree range is when they will slowly start to develop. VERY slowly. So if you keep them in a warm area of the house, you may end up with chicks hatching at a different time. But if you keep them in a cooler area, they won't develop at all until you set them in the incubator with the heat.

    I do things differently now though. I put eggs in the incubator when they are laid. Heat and all. I even leave them in the egg turner (it's a Little Giant model) until they are completely out of the egg. I use a pencil to write the date each egg is due, and add more as I get more. Right now I've got a two-day delay on most chicks hatching because of a power outage. But otherwise, my hatch rate seems to be 100% for the actual fertile eggs. I've taken only three back out in the past 2 months, and none of them developed AT ALL, so they probably weren't even fertile.
     
  4. Sterkfarm

    Sterkfarm In the Brooder

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    You guys are awesome! [email protected] "ill help you overthink this"...so true. We BYC'ers are so obsessive about little things, and yet there are noobs that throw in a handful of eggs into a crappy 'bator and have great success.
    LTygress, do I understand you do staggered hatches then? And yes to dating...otherwise the day 22 panic sets in.
    I'm a 'quality over quantity' hatcher. So in effect, even though I'm not hatching of hundreds a year, I am doing feather projects, so the ones that do go in become VIP eggs! Say I'm covering a particular hen with a particular roo; I want to ensure I'm getting a good hatch rate amap. But 1% either way isn't going to sink me. However if there was a way to increase success by say resting before setting, I just wondered. If the 1% fail rate was more like 10-20%, that then becomes a big deal. With projects, sometimes everything rides on what comes out of that one measly egg. You have been fabulous :) big thanks!
     
  5. LTygress

    LTygress Songster

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    Yep, staggered hatches, no lock-down period, no "one big hatch", and I keep the eggs in the turner too. I don't take them out and lay them flat and keep them still during the last three days. No "raising the humidity, lowering the temp" at the end, either. I just put them in there as the hens lay them, keep it around 102, and keep humidity around 50%. When one hatches, I give it a couple of hours, remove the egg, remove the chick, and leave the others until they do the same.

    I actually started keeping eggs in the turner by mistake. I didn't separate a broody hen, and forgot to mark the eggs I put under her. So I had no idea which ones I had set, and which ones were freshly laid - until she got up with the hatched ones and abandoned the rest. I took the rest in, knowing they were partially incubated, but had no idea when they were started. So I had no idea when to remove them from the turner.

    Turns out every single egg from that group hatched while still in the turner. And it was the first time I had a full incubator with NO wrong-end pips! So I've done it on purpose ever since then, and still haven't had that issue come up ever again!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  6. Sterkfarm

    Sterkfarm In the Brooder

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    I'm so glad to hear that!!! I largely killed my first hatch ever following some high maintenance advice on the thread and vowed never to again.
    So I'm in the same school of thought as you :)
    My brin turns so slowly that I prob wouldn't bother shutting off the turning motor either.
    I've got some eggs in there now; after reading the responses I turned on the heater. Keep you posted on the 'set it and forget it' hatch progress!
    And to clarify, I don't mean the advice on the thread is all high maintenance, I merely meant that I only heard what I wanted to, and it was high maintenance advice. I.e turn 3x/day without fail, humidity at x for x days until lockdown, don't do xy and z for lockdown, do/don't do x,y,z at pip/zip/hatch (you know I buggered someone up by being 'helpy'), etc. Such variety in experiences. Trial and error sucks in a mortality way, but is a great teaching tool: I could write an essay about what I did wrong! It sure cured my urge to intervene though!

    Sad lesson learned.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I don’t know what percent difference letting the eggs rest would make, whether more or less than 1%. I suspect less than 1% but I don’t know and 1% makes the math easy. The reason I use that as an example is that many people like to scoff at many of the recommendations about this type of stuff, saying it doesn’t make any difference. Some of the stuff you see on here are ”Old Wife’s Tales” or pure mythology, but many do have a real basis.

    The people that hatch 1,000,000 chicks a week have spent a lot of money researching these things. That’s where I got that about the difference in the consistency of the egg whites being different for the same hen. On their scale things like that are going to make a noticeable difference. On our scale, it’s not worth obsessing about and a lot of times we don’t have the ability to do anything about it anyway.

    It’s good to know what the recommendations are and what you should strive for, but just do the best you can in your circumstances and you should do OK. And let your experience be your guide.
     

  8. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Songster

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    Sterkfarm-
    I'm just guessing here, but one would think the way that simulates a natural chicken would work best...hen lays an egg, next day sits on it for an hour or 2 to lay another egg, next day sits on the eggs for another or 2 and lays another...this goes on for 10-12 days. Then she gets broody and sits on the eggs most of the day but goes to the roost and night, for several days before she finally starts sitting 24/7. Maybe she's synchronizing all the eggs?
    So by the time she finally starts sitting, the earliest eggs have been warmed off & on for about 24-36 hours while the last egg was laid only a day or 2 before and had only a few hours of heat. But they all hatch within a few hours of each other.
    I see neither pro or con with the way you do it, but if it were me I'd want all the eggs to hatch at the same time and get it done & over with, instead of having to fool with 2 bittys a day for several weeks or whatever.
     
  9. Kyzmette

    Kyzmette Songster

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    Just the info I was looking for. BYC saves the day again.

    I'm a chicken noob. Had them for a couple of years, love them dearly, just recently decided to do more than keep them happy, healthy and clucking.

    I'm ordering my first batch of "fancy" eggs from a breeder and may get them mid-week. I would love to attempt a weekend hatch so my grandbabies can be here to see it. If I keep the eggs cool through the week, should I be able to set them in the incubator Friday evening and hope for a weekend hatch? That won't hurt them?
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I don’t know how old those eggs will be by the time you get them, but it should be possible. Since they are shipped eggs, what I’d suggest if store them pointy side down to give the air cell a chance to sort itself out if there is a problem with that. They’ve probably been shaken some. I’d put them in the automatic turner if you have one and plug that in or turn them maybe three times a day by hand. They don’t need to be turned the first week of storage but after that it helps.

    I don’t know what you mean by “cool”. The normal recommended temperature is around 55 degrees but don’t overstress about that. Just do the best you can.

    I don’t know what your history is with that incubator, whether you are normally early or late. Let that be your guide as to when to start them so you get a weekend hatch.

    Good luck with it.
     

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