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

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Delmar, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. Delmar

    Delmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    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.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2011
  2. Rhode Island Red Breeder

    Rhode Island Red Breeder Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Eggs will be good for hatching for up to a week.
     
  3. Delmar

    Delmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    So if I saved 10 eggs in 10 days, chances are 2 or 3 would not be viable? Has anybody here had any luck pushing the envelope?
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    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.
     
  5. Delmar

    Delmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    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.​
     
  6. Delmar

    Delmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    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.​
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  8. Delmar

    Delmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    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.
     
  9. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2010
    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.
     
  10. ScissorChick

    ScissorChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2010
    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
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011

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