No longer with roo - how long will new eggs maybe be fertile?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Edwards' East of Eden, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Edwards' East of Eden

    Edwards' East of Eden Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2011
    Biloxi, MS
    I got three laying SL wyanndottes yesterday, and at their previous home they were housed with a couple or three quite randy roosters. Now they're here, in quarantine, with no rooster within ... erm ... randy distance.

    Just got them here yesterday afternoon, and I was shocked to go out and find an egg a few minutes ago. The first egg ever here! Not, technically, my egg, I don't think, since these girls were laying when I got them, but still - an egg! My other chickens, my first chickens, are 12 and 9 weeks old, and 7/13 of them are roosters and destined for freezer camp.

    Coincidentally, I also bought an incubator yesterday. I had planned on getting it all buffed up and then doing a couple of test run hatches before ordering some really fine SLW eggs for myself ... And these eggs just might be the first test run!

    I've also read, per the link I found on BYC to a primer on incubation from Texas A&M, that best case scenario is set to incubate within seven days of gathering, and meanwhile do not wash, and store at cool but not refrigerated temperature in a sealed plastic bag pointy end down. I've also read that it takes a chicken about 25 days to generate an egg, and that at any given time there are multiple eggs "in the chute", so to speak, in varying stages of development.

    So, the question: how long can they be away from the rooster and still be producing what have a decent chance of being fertile eggs? To restate, for how many days after the last mating might I be collecting fertile eggs that I can try to incubate?

    Oh - and the girls are as yet unnamed, and are purely hatchery quality. They were housed with white leghorns.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2011
  2. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I have read that eggs can stay fertile about 2 weeks or so. Give or take a few days.

    I would NOT seal them in a plastic bag...they need to breath. Pointy end down and just put them in an egg carton and turn the whole carton once a day (I used a book and just lean them against the book). Yes, only 7 days...10 at the VERY most.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  3. Edwards' East of Eden

    Edwards' East of Eden Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2011
    Biloxi, MS
    So, two weeks of collected eggs, from yesterday, I can try to incubate ... But start a batch of them at least every seven days. Is that correct?
  4. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    Ya, that would work:thumbsup
  5. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Quote:IF, you have another incubator for lockdown unless your new incubator is a cabinet style.

    I have hatched eggs fertilized by a rooster who had been culled from the coop two weeks prior to the broody getting the eggs.

    You can always do a test - collect and date the eggs. After 10 days set them in the incubator and see which eggs - older or newer - give you the best hatch rate (everyone is different).

    Good luck [​IMG]
  6. skillswife

    skillswife Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2010
    SW Montana
    how fun!
  7. Edwards' East of Eden

    Edwards' East of Eden Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2011
    Biloxi, MS
    Quote:I was kinda thinking I could rig up a lockdown in a cooler over the eighteen days from set. That would work, right?

    Thank you and everyone else for the words of encouragement! I'm so lucky to have found BYC before I ever got chickens, and to have had such a resource available. Y'all rock!
  8. CrazyCatNChickenLady

    CrazyCatNChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2010
    Berry Creek, Ca
    I've heard 3 weeks. I had a rooster I culled and the hen he was with layed eggs for about 3 weeks I collected the first few eggs but then left the eggs from weeks 2 and 3 in there and she went broody on week 4 so they were sitting in there a while. 7 of 9 hatched.

    Basically collecting eggs, sitting them in a carton pointy end down, rotating said carton daily so it doesnt attach to the membrane, and hatching within a week of collecting are all precautions to get the best hatch rate possible. We're faking nature by incubating so we need the best odds we can get!!

    For your first try I recommend collecting the eggs and setting all at once and use 1 incubator the whole time. Just stop turning and Raise humidity the last 3 days. My first bator was a jerry-rigged cooler! I got a really good hatch rate the first time but it couldn't fit an egg turner so I eventually upgraded to 2 little giants and 1 egg turner.
  9. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I would think the cooler would work.

    Good luck and cannot wait for you to update with chick pics. [​IMG]

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