Questions about fertile eggs, timing, shipping, etc

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by IdahoSpring, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. IdahoSpring

    IdahoSpring Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 28, 2013
    Yep total newbie question here. A little backstory: we stumbled upon a breeding trio of euskal oiloa a few months ago. We had never had a roo before, but he is very sweet and so are his 2 gals. We would really like to capitalize on this breed. They are so beautiful! We ordered 5 straight run chicks (2 weeks old now) and today one of the girls from the original trio laid her FIRST egg! I'm almost sure it's fertile because we've seen the roo...well you know. We don't have an incubator yet but we will soon. My question is about shipping eggs and such. Would someone kindly run down this process for me? After its laid, what is the timeframe? Does it need to be incubated right away? How long does one have before it would be considered "unhatchable"? How do you know how "old" a fertile egg is once it is shipped to you? We have never had fertile eggs or incubated eggs (let alone shipped them) so I have many questions as we consider moving forward with this breed. Thanks!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    10 days is usually considered the cutoff but under ideal conditions they could last longer.
    Following nature, a hen or flock of hens will continue to contribute eggs to the nest before one sets. Nothing happens in the egg until the temp gets into the 80s and even then development isn't proper till it gets to above 98.

    For a first timer incubating, it would be better to start with one's own or local eggs since jostled eggs don't have the best success rate. You won't know how old shipped eggs are unless the shipper marks the lay date or includes a list telling you.

    Optimal storage is important. 45 to 55 degrees with higher relative humidity is ideal.
     
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  3. IdahoSpring

    IdahoSpring Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 28, 2013
    Thank you!! That has helped immensely [​IMG]
     
  4. IdahoSpring

    IdahoSpring Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 28, 2013
    Guess what!! We got our first (most likely) fertile egg 2 days and then another today. They're very small as I know first eggs usually are. How long is a good bet until incubating? A week? A month? Want to give these chicks the best chance at survival!
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    St. Louis, MO
    Pullet eggs will hatch but it's best not to incubate pullet eggs. They're too small. I'd wait till they get a little bigger. Probably a couple months.
    Best chance of survival and for the healthiest chicks is to hatch eggs from mature birds.
    Some don't even start using a rooster till he's about 3.

    I know it's hard to wait. Patience is a virtue and I want it now!
     
  6. IdahoSpring

    IdahoSpring Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 28, 2013

    Thank you. We will probably not start incubating until at least next spring based on that info. The roo is just so handsome and I can't wait to see what his chicks look like. But the girls are young and the eggs are still small, but they are consistently laying at least every other day even though it is 20 degrees out! Very proud! [​IMG]
     
  7. Germis076

    Germis076 New Egg

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    Dec 5, 2013
    Wealthy knowledge. Thanks for sharing.
     

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