How to Store Fertile Chicken Eggs

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Do you have fertile chicken eggs but you’re not quite ready to hatch them yet? Wondering what you should do with them until you are ready? Here are a few tips.

Any cracked or dirty eggs should be removed and not stored as these impurities reduce the chance of a healthy chicken hatching. These eggs also increase the chance of spreading infection to other eggs that may be in the incubator. Do not try to wash any dirty eggs as this can do more damage than good. By washing an egg you are increasing the risks of spreading infection to the inside of the egg as you are removing a protective coating on the outside of the egg.

Any fertilized egg should be gathered immediately, and placed in proper storage. Ideally fertilized eggs should make their way into an incubator as soon as possible to reduce the risk of spoiling eggs. Be sure to start your incubator 24 hours before placing fertilized eggs inside to ensure the proper temperatures.

Once a chicken egg is fertile it is very important to keep the egg at the right temperature. If the temperature is too cold then the chick may die. Some recommend keeping fertilized chicken eggs in a cool dry place, other suggest keeping the fertilized chicken eggs wrapped in a towel to maintain warmth. Either way, temperature is very important. If an egg is being stored for less than a week they can be stored in an egg carton. This is not the ideal method, but for those that have no other options. It is very important to not change the temperatures too fast or drastically as this will reduce the chances of the eggs properly hatching.

For eggs being stored longer than a week be sure to properly care for them. Make sure to maintain a clean environment to reduce the risk of infection. Additionally, be sure to monitor the temperature to reduce the risk of the eggs spoiling. I usually keep my eggs inside at room temperature.

It is recommended not to keep chicken eggs in storage for more than a week. For those that must keep the egg in storage for longer, the maximum time an egg should be kept in storage is 3 weeks, any longer and the risks are higher for the egg to expire. Be sure to get your fertilized chicken eggs into an incubator within a reasonable amount of time or your chances of having spoiled eggs increases.

Once ready to hatch your eggs, make sure to get a great incubator to ensure your eggs hatch properly and healthy. Keep eggs in a clean environment, and monitor any changes in temperature. Any eggs that do not seem t be properly developing should be removed, especially if any seem to be exhibiting symptoms of illness. Eggs should be candled by the 10th day to make sure there is development, if no signs of development take eggs out of incubator. Not every egg will develop so if you have any bad eggs in your incubator remove them before they spoil your entire hatch.

Once you chicks hatch make sure to research proper feeding, and handling and housing for them. They need tender loving care for the first 2 weeks of their lives.

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Comments 6 comments

bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 5 years ago from Bay Area California

That is great info. Does this apply to duck eggs too do you know?


ChickenHouses profile image

ChickenHouses 5 years ago from North Central Florida Author

yes this information can be used for duck eggs too.


patchofearth profile image

patchofearth 4 years ago from somewhere in the appalachian foothills

I've been considering increasing my flock. What do you think of giving fertilized eggs to a broody hen? Do you think she would hatch them?


ChickenHouses profile image

ChickenHouses 4 years ago from North Central Florida Author

my bantams sit on our hens eggs, but I don't have too much luck with any other hens. What kind of hens do you have?


jude's 4 years ago

thanks so much i have a few duck's and a few bantams i was wantting to increase my flock but didnt no how to keep the eggs the ducks do good hatching there's but the hens not so well


Nadine 4 years ago

Hi my rooster has been jumping my two young bantams but neither of them are broody, will the eggs they lay be fertile as this only happened four days ago?

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