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Storing Eggs before Incubation

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Gingersnap722, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. Gingersnap722

    Gingersnap722 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2013
    Hi all, wanted to get opinions on how you store your chicken eggs before incubating them. Thanks!
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2015
    I store mine at room temperature, turning them twice a day.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    This article gives a lot of information on how to store eggs for incubation. In my opinion it goes way overboard in some things but it does give good basic information too, mainly what to shoot for. Get as close as you reasonably can without obsessing over any detail and you will probably do OK. Unless you do something silly like cooking them it’s not a case of they all of a sudden all go bad. The embryo is pretty tough. They can still hatch after some pretty rough treatment but the further you are away from the ”ideal” conditions and the longer you are there the less likely they are to hatch. It’s a gradual thing, not all or nothing.

    Texas A&M Incubation site

    I store mine at room temperature and humidity in a spare bedroom. I take the turner out of the incubator, plug it in, and store them pointy side down. I keep them out of sunlight and drafts, such as from vents. I hardly ever keep eggs more than one week before starting incubation.

    Some things to be aware of. The embryo is alive in the egg. Your goal is to keep it alive without it starting to develop. They do not have to be at full incubation temperature to develop. The warmer they are the faster they develop. I’ve read different things but my room temperature is normally in the mid to upper 70’s and mine do OK. The mid-80’s would be too warm, they will start to develop. Temperature swings from cool to warm and back are supposedly not good either. A steady temperature is better.

    The longer you store them the more moisture the egg loses. That’s why they recommend a fairly high humidity place to store them. I don’t have a high humidity place to store them, it can be pretty low or somewhat high, depending in whether the heat or AC is on and the outside humidity. That’s something that can make it hard to get a good humidity during incubation. Each individual egg can have a different “perfect” incubation humidity. There is a pretty wide range of humidities that work for incubation but you are looking for a good average for the majority of the eggs.

    Pointy side down is important. You want the air cell to stay in the fat end of the egg. Turning them is not hugely important the first few days but the longer you store them the more important turning becomes.

    That’s the key things for me. Try to keep the temperature fairly steady and not extreme, store pointy side down, turning is good, and the drier it is the faster you need to start incubation. To clarify that, unless you are in an exceptionally dry location like the middle of a desert a week isn’t too bad. Longer than that a higher storage humidity might be good.
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Water Under the Bridge Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Ideally, you only want the eggs to go through 2 temperature changes. Once when they're laid and once when they go into the incubator.
    About 60F to 65F is good for the first week. If they'll be stored longer than 7 days, about 45 is better.

    It may help to wrap the eggs in plastic during storage.

    Consistent turning is important throughout storage.
    If they'll be stored 10 days or longer, keeping them with the small end down can serve to center the yolk.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  6. Gingersnap722

    Gingersnap722 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2013
    Thanks everyone! Someone told me they store theirs in a wine cooler with the temp at 55F and the humidity at 42%. Any thoughts?

    Ridgerunner, we have small refrigerator that I was going to use to specifically store the chicken eggs before incubating, but I read somewhere that a fridge won't have the proper humidity. However, I see in the link you posted for me that they say a fridge can be used. What do you think? Thanks!
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    55F is close to ideal. Humidity would be better higher than 45%. You don't want them to lose too much weight during storage.
  8. MadAnt

    MadAnt Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 3, 2015

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