Winter Incubating

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by dannyisforreal, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. dannyisforreal

    dannyisforreal Chirping

    Jun 22, 2013
    Im really wanting some baby chickens and more chickens right now. Im considering buying some eggs? Is it safe to ship the eggs in cold weather with a heat pack? Is it a bad idea to incubate in the winter? Will my hatch rate go down?
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    The main concern would be the eggs freezing and cracking. I would also think that under a certain temp, you would change the integrity of the egg contents. I would look for some local eggs if you can't wait.
  3. MisfitMarie

    MisfitMarie Songster

    Oct 20, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I'm just a newbie, but I've already heard some conflicting things about shipping eggs with heating packs... you don't want the egg to start developing during transit, if I understand correctly. It's better for the egg to be kept cool (but not actually freeze-I guess that's another concern), slowly rise to room temperature, and then begin to develop in the incubator. I'm sure some actual experienced hatchers can explain this better, though.

    I have started my first incubation, but I have three stations: the outside coop for full-feathered, a large pen in the garage for the teenagers (heat lamp at night), and some totes kept inside for the hatchlings. I don't plan on shipping any eggs, only hatching them as a hobby for local friends and family.

    I am extremely interested in how other members respond. I hope you keep us updated on what you decide to hatch and the incubator you have chosen to use...?
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop

    With any shipped eggs there is always the risk of them becoming damaged during the shipping process and lowering hatch rate. Cold will add to the risk of them not hatching or being viable for hatching. I would totally agree with Percheron chick about getting local eggs to hatch.
    If hatching in winter you need to be fully prepared to keep the chicks indoors and be able to provide heat for them. MisFitMarie sounds like she has the ideal set up there, indoors, garage and then eventually outdoors when fully feathered. As long as you have the right set up and are fully prepared you should be ok. Wishing you the very best of luck :frow
  5. Foghornnmsprisy

    Foghornnmsprisy In the Brooder

    Sep 6, 2014
    Austin/Bastrop Texas
    I didn't realize when I got into chickens that there was a time limit on getting chicks or eggs from the hatcheries. Everyone is "out of stock" for the season til 2015. The chickens I wanted for my flock just aren't available locally. So I took the risk and had eggs shipped from a breeder. But that was right before a huge cold front hit the states. So my eggs were shipped when temps where mild. I did read somewhere that eggs stored for incubation need to be stored in a temperate climate. Not to hot not to cold. I'm expecting a low hatch rate or a draggy hatch with mine. Partially because they were shipped and part because of the cold weather has been making it hard to keep my incubator running a its correct temperature. I have to keep it wrapped with a blanket. This is my first hatch so I know I have problems brewing some where. But I think so far so good with about 50% success from what my candling shows by day 17. They may be a day or two behind I'm
    just not sure being my first time with this. I chose to go small so I only set eight eggs. So with a fifty percent hatch rate I just have a few chicks to house with ease til it warms up. I also read that chicks will feather more quickly in colder weather. [​IMG]

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