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Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by JodyJo, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone,

    I plan on using an incubator, for the first time, and have a couple questions:

    I just rehomed my roo a few weeks ago, so my eggs are no longer fertile, so...my neighbor has fertile eggs, (in fact her roo is my profile pic) I plan on getting some eggs from her, question is, how long after they are laied, can they be taken and put in the incubator? I have only used broody hens to hatch my chicks. I have lost a couple hens lately, and need a few new ones to keep up with egg buyers demands! Any suggestions would be great...thanks!
     
  2. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    A good share of hatchers will only set eggs collected with in one week. The "experts" say 10 days and under is best for collection and most people agree that over 2 weeks old seriously decreases hatchability. During storage time-stored upright in cartons at 55-65F is usually recomended. Many hatchers also feel that the eggs need to be "turned" 3xs a day as you would during incubation.
     
  3. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    good info....I guess what I meant was, how long after being laid, (time wise) till I need to get them into an incubator? 1 hour, 2? Till they cool too much to not use?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    When a hen hides a nest she lays one egg a day until she decides she has enough to hatch, then she starts incubating. A lot of times that is over two weeks. She normally gets good hatches.

    I’m not a broody hen and don’t store my eggs on the ground in the shade where the temperatures are fairly stable. I store mine in a spare bedroom out of drafts from vents and out of sunlight. I hook up my egg turner and store them in that pointy side down at room temperature and practically always start them within a week of them being laid. That broody hen with the hidden nest will still probably do better than me. Those broodies are good.

    Amy gave you some of the ideal conditions to shoot for. Most of us don’t have a place that close to ideal but still do pretty well. If you store eggs in the ideal conditions they can remain viable for a couple of weeks. But the further you are from ideal the less time you have to start them. It’s not a case where they all of a sudden all go from fabulous to a total disaster, it’s that they gradually become less likely to hatch.

    For example, an egg is losing moisture while it is stored. An egg has to lose a certain amount of moisture but not too much before hatch or it won’t make it. There is a pretty wide window of how much is too much or not enough, but there are limits. And different eggs lose moisture at different rates. Some egg shells are more porous than others. Some egg whites are thicker than others. Those things affect rate of moisture loss. The drier the air where they are stored the faster they lose moisture. Each egg is unique. Some will go bad from loss of moisture faster than others.

    Normally if you store eggs in reasonable conditions, not to extreme, they last pretty well for a week. In really good conditions they can last for two weeks. After that, well it’s possible but your odds start to drop rapidly.
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Exactly how long ago did you get rid of your roo? Have you checked your eggs for fertility? You might be pleasantly surprised to find that your eggs are still fertile! I wish you the best. Before you plug in that incubator, please read: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-101

    You'll find it in the Learning center, along with a lot of other excellent articles about incubation. You also might like to try this: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors

    I wish you the best! Have fun!
     
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    My last hatch I was able to keep them under 70F but they were at 65-68F on the average. I set 21 had one very early quitter the other 20 made it to lockdown and all 20 hatched!
     
  7. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my roo has been gone at least 3 weeks, to a month...I know they stay fertile for at least 2 weeks. I actually would like to use my old roo anyway...as you can see from my profile pic, he is gorgeous! It I hatch out a roo, I will keep him till he matures. My old roo was sweet, an EE mix, but too big and really tore up my hen's backs...even with saddles on...so he was rehomed to a good home...by the time I have a chick matures, I will be ready for another roo.

    I LOVE when the hens go broody and they do it all themselves...this last time, I had to bring 2 eggs inside and place under a heat lamp for a night, by morning, I had 2 chicks...I rushed them outside to the waiting mama hen, slipped them under her and she was none the wiser, she raised them like she had hatched them. (she had hatched two and started ignoring the other 2, I could hear the cheeping inside the eggs, so I took a stab and hatched them out!)

    I should have all the eggs I need in 2-3 days, she has some of my old hens, and a few exotic ones. We are already below 35* at night here, so as long as I get them by afternoon, they will be fine, I will store them inside (pointy side down) and get the incubator warmed up before I put them in....

    Thanks so much everyone, I will try to remember to come back and post my results!
     

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