The experiment begins! How many eggs can you save from a single hen.

Delmar

Songster
9 Years
Nov 26, 2010
699
3
121
Indiana, a dozen miles from MI
I have one Easter Egger hen and I want more. I was just given a really pretty EE roo that I am planning butcher, but I decided I would like to get some EE chicks out of the deal first. How many days could I save fertilized eggs from this one hen before the first eggs are less likely to be viable?

Edit 5/22/I'm starting this experiment today.
 
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Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
She'll lay fertile eggs for up to 11-12 days following copulation. The second egg she lays following copulation will be fertile. If she lays an egg every day, which is doubtful, your first fertile egg would be 10 days old in 10 days. That is as old an egg that I would incubate.

In other words, if she lays 7 eggs over 10 days, or 8 over 11 days, store them pointed end down, in a cool 50F place. Then, incubate those 7 or 8 eggs. Getting greedy will cost you viability.
 

Delmar

Songster
9 Years
Nov 26, 2010
699
3
121
Indiana, a dozen miles from MI
Fred's Hens :

She'll lay fertile eggs for up to 11-12 days following copulation. The second egg she lays following copulation will be fertile. If she lays an egg every day, which is doubtful, your first fertile egg would be 10 days old in 10 days. That is as old an egg that I would incubate.

In other words, if she lays 7 eggs over 10 days, or 8 over 11 days, store them pointed end down, in a cool 50F place. Then, incubate those 7 or 8 eggs. Getting greedy will cost you viability.

I'm not really sure how getting greedy could cost me? If for example, I saved eggs for 16 days, and kept the rooster with the girls the whole time, the only eggs that would loose viability would be the earliest ones. So if the eggs went bad after 10 days the 10 most recent eggs would be viable no matter how many days I saved them before that. Or am I thinking wrong?

The big advantage I have with her is that she is my very best layer. I'm pretty sure she has given us 19 eggs in the last 20 days.​
 

Delmar

Songster
9 Years
Nov 26, 2010
699
3
121
Indiana, a dozen miles from MI
Fred's Hens :

She'll lay fertile eggs for up to 11-12 days following copulation. The second egg she lays following copulation will be fertile.

I was not aware that one time would last so long. When we put the current Rooster in with the girls, I only waited a week or so to start collecting eggs for my hatch. I think this means that some of the eggs in my incubator may not be what I thought they were! Some of them may have banty Cochens for a daddy instead of RIR.​
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
You asked if any had tried to "push the envelope". 10 day old eggs is pushing the envelope.

If you gather her eggs for 16 days, the earlier ones would begin to fail as 16 days have passed. If it takes her 20 calendar days to lay 16 eggs, her first egg would be 20 days old and far past optimum fertility.

I'd rather incubate 6-8 known good eggs than waste the time trying to get 10-12 fertile eggs from just one hen. One great laying hen would only be able to produce 8 eggs within a 10 day period. Getting "greedy" would be trying to get 12 viable, fertile eggs from just one hen. That would be a very tall order. It just takes too long. Hope that helps.
 
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Delmar

Songster
9 Years
Nov 26, 2010
699
3
121
Indiana, a dozen miles from MI
Thanks for the input. I do like to experiment so when I am pretty sure I have my incubator right and my EE laying fertile eggs,I will probably try collecting for 15 days or so just for the challenge of it. When I do I will write the date on each egg so I can document the outcome. I figure the worst that can happen is I don't have a very successful hatch.
 

Gypsy07

Songster
9 Years
Feb 4, 2010
2,286
57
193
Glasgow, Scotland
I have saved up my own eggs from just one hen for over a fortnight and had good hatching results from them. I also date each egg and usually I find that the older eggs tend to have a better hatch rate than the freshest ones. Not what I expected to find, that's for sure! I also saved up a dozen eggs from one bird to send to someone, so as well as being over a fortnight old they also had to withstand the rigours of shipping. 11/12 were fertile and developed normally. The eggs are in the process of hatching right now.

If you're very careful with storage conditions, you can maximise your chances of having successful hatches with old eggs. I wash my eggs in a hot bleach solution then do not touch them at all afterwards. I store them in egg cartons in a cold dark cupboard and tilt them twice a day. I know some people feel very strongly about not washing eggs, but I've tried both ways and washing gives me better results so that's how I do it.

If your hen is a good layer you should easily be able to save up a dozen eggs and have a good hatch from them.
 

ScissorChick

Songster
9 Years
Dec 17, 2010
1,609
8
141
Under Your bed
You can STORE eggs for up to 7-10 days before incubating. If stored any longer than

that, their chance of hatching will rapidly decrease. If you were asking

how long she'd lay fertile eggs after mating, many people here have had fertile eggs for up

to 3 weeks after seperating their roos. Some even four, but thats rare. I seperated a roo

from a hen after mating, two weeks later I was still getting fertile eggs.

ScissorChick
 
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