setting dyed eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SonRise Silkies, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. SonRise Silkies

    SonRise Silkies Songster 8 Years

    Mar 4, 2010
    Has anyone ever set dyed eggs????
    My hens always put extra eggs in the nests with their sisters who are setting.
    Is there a way to quickly tell which is the "new" egg from the eggs that are in process of being incubated by the hen?
    Marking them still requires a closer look and I'd rather not be disturbing the hen so much, I'd like to just quickly be able to recognize the "set" eggs.
    Can I color the eggs a wild color and then set the hen, thus knowing when I see a normal colored egg to remove it???
    Just wondering if the food color would harm the chick at all?
    Thanks for any and all replies.
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka 8 Years

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    The dye idea makes me a bit uncomfortable. I'm concerned about what might happen to the shell/membranes during the dyeing process.

    I have just taken a regular lead pencil, and scribbled a wide stripe all the way around the middle of the egg. Since chickens don't lay "belted" eggs, it's pretty easy to spot the eggs that don't belong. Also, eggs tend to get polished by the hen's feathers as she incubates. Once she's been at it for a few days, the ones she's incubating will get a glossy finish to the shells. New eggs will have a "matte" look, and can be easily recognised in good light (not much help if the hen is nesting in a dark corner of the coop!)
  3. Oven Ready

    Oven Ready Songster

    May 9, 2010
    We usually put a stripe round the whole egg so you can see it without having to poke about. We also write the number of the egg on the fat end (number being sequence in which they are laid). Over time this has helped us determine that eggs #1 & 2 have the lowest fertility rates, so we take them away when they're are four eggs in the clutch. We use a normal indelible magic marker and I've never noticed any problems using it.

    All our chicks come out the shell perfectly normal as you'd expect with a black stripe round them and a number on their butt. (Yes, I'm joking).

    I wouldn't think food coloring would do any harm, I guess it depends what's in it but if it's edible and permeable it's hard to see what could go wrong. Why don't you try dying the unwanted eggs and then incubating them to see what sort of hatch rate you get versus the plain eggs.
  4. SonRise Silkies

    SonRise Silkies Songster 8 Years

    Mar 4, 2010
    Well DAH! Thanks for the replies, I never even thought of coloring some and setting in the incubator to test.
    Just not thinking...who CAN in this heat!
    I'll have to try that!
    I did put a big band around some the last time and it did help but as you say the hen polished them and the band sort of got pretty dull.
    I really wasn't wanting to use the incubator this time of year because we might just go off for a day or so camping or fishing and the bator would be with out supervision.
    Course the happy little hens will FILL the nest with new eggs while I'm absent also!!!
    I have two hatches due the first week of next month and then some the 13th, maybe I'll just quit hatching till fall.
    How came hatching is such an addiction????
    Thanks again, I appreciate all the help from both of you!

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