Where to store hatching eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by borzoimom, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. borzoimom

    borzoimom Out Of The Brooder

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    I am hoping to hatch some eggs from my own chickens next spring. I have read the eggs need to be stored at 55 degrees and 75% humidity prior to incubating. I can't figure out where I can put them that will meet those requirements. Where do all of you store your eggs prior to hatching?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If you have a basement, that might come closest to those standards.
     
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I've never heard that you need to store hatching eggs cool and humid. May I ask where you got the information (not doubting you, just curious to see if I'm doing it wrong [​IMG]) .

    We store hatching eggs on the counter in the kitchen, which runs about 78 degrees in the summer, with low humidity due to the AC. We have 100% hatches under a broody, even with eggs that are 10+ days old. <shrug>

    I think it may depend on how precious the eggs are, how much trouble you go to. I did put some fancy hatching eggs from show-quality birds into my basement for three days before setting them when they arrived scrambled. Don't know if it was the lower temperature or not (our basement runs around 30% humidity and 68 degrees) but we did get a decent hatch from those eggs--9 of 12 hatched under a broody.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I think you may find this article interesting:

    http://www.pasreform.com/academy/fr...atching-eggs/16-storage-of-hatching-eggs.html
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    The thing about how to store eggs for hatching is that those are guidelines, not absolute laws of nature. They are recommendations of how best to store eggs, not absolute requirements. Following the guidelines does not guarantee absolute success. Failing to follow a guideline does not guarantee absolute total failure. All the guidelines do are improve your odds. Many of us fail to follow them exactly and still do pretty well. Which guidelines you don’t follow and how far you go from the ideal will affect what your odds actually are.

    Those guidelines were developed by a lot of research, usually at one of the top University Poultry Science Departments in the country, and paid for by the egg hatching industry. These are people that hatch maybe 1,000,000 chicks a week in incubators that might hold 60,000 or 120,000 eggs each. I may hatch 40 chicks a year in an incubator or under a broody. A 1% difference for me is less than half a chick, 0.4 chicks to be exact. For someone hatching 1,000,000 a week every week if the year, that’s about 520,000 chicks a year. 1% is not noticeable for me but a half million chicks is noticeable for them. That’s only 1%. As I said, how far you go from the ideal will affect what that actual percent is.

    Those guidelines are real. They do make a difference. But how much of a difference depends a lot on how many eggs you hatch for averages to mean anything.

    Most of us don’t follow the guidelines that closely and still do pretty well. It’s good to know what the guidelines are so you know what to aim for, but just do the best you reasonably can. That will probably be pretty good.

    Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks, sumi! I did find it very interesting. I love me some science!

    I did find that the take-away from the article was that, if you're hatching a dozen eggs, these factors just won't make much of a difference for you, statistically. A difference of 3% hatchability may not make much difference to you since that's very small chance of a problem. But a temperature change causing a 3% difference on 100,000 eggs is 3000 chicks--a very big difference indeed. What makes a difference on a large scale vs. the small scale we backyard flock managers deal with is something every person has to make a decision about. For me, I often store eggs for a week until I have exactly the eggs I want to hatch. According to the article, that can cause a 0.2-0.5% decrease in hatchability. That's a price I'm willing to live with--but I might be more careful if I wanted to hatch 100,000 chicks, and it cost me 500 babies at $3 final sale price, or $1500.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
  7. Littleton

    Littleton New Egg

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    How about a wine cooler?
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Here is a pretty good article on incubation. It talks quite a bit on how to store eggs for hatching.

    Texas A&M Incubation site
    http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/...e-Cartwright-Incubating-and-hatching-eggs.pdf

    I plug in my turner in a spare bedroom and store the eggs on that at room temperature. I always have enough to start incubating in less than a week. I know the Texas A&M article said you don’t have to turn them the first week, but I figure it won’t hurt. With what I have here, that’s the best I can reasonably do. I normally get decent hatches.

    This is from Sumi’s article: •Store eggs small end up, starting on the first day of storage, if hatchery planning dictates that eggs must be stored more than 10 days. Alternatively, if eggs are stored on setter trays (blunt ends up), turn them 90° once daily.

    The way I read that is to store them small end up if you’re not going to turn them and keep them longer than 10 days but blunt end up if you are going to turn them. First time I ever saw that small end up thing. I have no idea why they recommend that. Since I don’t know I’ll keep storing them pointy end down in the turner. It works for me.
     

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