question about how old eggs can be and still hatch

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by afarhat8, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. afarhat8

    afarhat8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 10, 2013
    first, i'd like to brag that out of 27 eggs set three weeks and a day ago, 24 have hatched. this is from the first use of a pre-set gfq model 1588 hova bator. they've taken all of the guess work out of this incubator. all you have to do is put it in the right location, fill one water trough when needed until day 18, when higher humidity is required, and sit back and watch the eggs through the large glass windows on the top. an excellent product.

    now that i'm off my soap-box, i'd like to know why eggs more than 7 days old should not be put in the incubator. my reason for
    questioning this is that when a wild bird, say a guinea, makes a nest, it may lay an egg a day until more than a dozen eggs are laid and then she begins to set. i've seen guinea nests with almost twice that many eggs, and to my knowledge, the bird can only lay one egg a day, max. so when the hen starts setting, the earliest eggs laid can be over two weeks old. certainly they're not kept in the ideal environment until the bird starts setting, yet most of these eggs will hatch. so, i guess my question is, if eggs older than seven days are often hatched by natural incubation, why is it not possible to set older eggs in an incubator?

    thanks, anybody who has an opinion on this.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Congrats on your hatch! That is a very good rate.

    On storing eggs: you can set eggs older than 7 days, but if you want a good, problem free hatch it is better to set them sooner. The best time to set a hatching egg is 2-3 days after it got laid. After day 7 the hatch ability of the eggs starts dropping significantly and by day 14 the hatch ability of the egg will be down to 50%. By day 21 the hatch ability will be almost zero. Also studies have shown that eggs stored too long (more than 7 days) before incubation result in more weak or "poor quality" chicks, cystic embryos, undeveloped eggs and a small percentage (1%) of the chicks hatched may be malpositioned in the egg and possibly be unable to hatch unassisted.
     
  3. pen

    pen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2011
    HOW SHOULD YOU STORE THE EGGS THAT YOU ARE HOPING TO HATCH?
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Store them on their sides or upright (fat end up) in an egg carton. Keep them in a cool room 45*-65*F with the relative humidity around 75%, if possible. Turn them at least twice a day as you would when incubating them. This keeps the yolks centred.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013

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