Incubating refrigerated eggs

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chrismahon
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Incubating refrigerated eggs

Post by chrismahon »

We have a problem here, the coldest place in the house is about 22 degrees (unheated) whereas in the UK we stored our eggs in the cellar at 12 degrees.

We run a complicated system. Non-hatching eggs are not a problem, but potential hatching eggs are kept for 7 days before being eaten. At these temperatures eggs go off after 14 days and I'm not sure about the viability of hatching eggs. I thought they had to drop their temperature significantly before hatching and to a figure of 12 degrees was once mentioned (by Darkbrowneggs I think, who has sold up and is travelling the UK in TheBus).

We have had a few upset stomachs and must now put the eggs in the fridge to keep them fit for consumption. This includes hatching eggs.

So my question is if we need to hatch any eggs for emergency purposes (like all one breeding set have been killed by a predator) will the eggs stored in the fridge at between 5 and 8 degrees be viable?
chickenfan
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Re: Incubating refrigerated eggs

Post by chickenfan »

I didn't think they were viable if they went in the fridge Chris, but I guess there is no harm trying if disaster hits. The days are too short for the chicks to grow well if you reared them now.
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chrismahon
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Re: Incubating refrigerated eggs

Post by chrismahon »

Days are not too short here Chickenfan and it's not that cold usually either. In Winter we get well over an hour more daylight than the UK plus we have an unobstructed sky and can also assist if necessary with light and heat using the equipment we brought over with us. Our last hatch was October and reared over Winter. A local breeder hatches all year.

Just wondered if anyone had incubated from refrigerated eggs successfully? In a few weeks it will be cool again and they can come out of the fridge.
Icemaiden
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Re: Incubating refrigerated eggs

Post by Icemaiden »

Sounds as though you need a beer fridge, Chris. Kept at 12 - 15C, it'd be ideal for both beer & eggs ;-)
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chrismahon
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Re: Incubating refrigerated eggs

Post by chrismahon »

Well I was thinking along the same lines Icemaiden, but we came here to live a more environmentally responsible (and cheaper) life, so additional electrical devices are out really. We are already using over 6 KWhrs a day! Aside from that I like my beer much colder than that -just above freezing.

I'll stick a post on the 'accidental smallholder' forum and see if anyone knows. It's not a problem you would ever get in the UK I think? There are a few members in countries South though.
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Marigold
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Re: Incubating refrigerated eggs

Post by Marigold »

Why not just try it and see?
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chrismahon
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Re: Incubating refrigerated eggs

Post by chrismahon »

Logical idea Marigold and an option I had completely overlooked. Problem is we are rather short of space and I don't want to fill it with chicks we don't actually need. I won't have the heart to kill them as embryos either. The only ones laying are TNN's which continue to lay, albeit at a reduced rate, even when they are moulting. All the others are just starting or finishing their moult, so eggs are in very short supply.
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Marigold
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Re: Incubating refrigerated eggs

Post by Marigold »

Yes, not a good time for hatching anyway. But I still don't think you can find the answer any way except by trying it with your own eggs in your own setup, as there are so many variables. If they didn't hatch it could be due to other causes. On the other hand, if they did hatch, you might have answered your question!
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chrismahon
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Re: Incubating refrigerated eggs

Post by chrismahon »

I've had five answers to my question from the Accidental Smallholder forum. All say refrigerated eggs can be incubated successfully but the last post made the important point that they must be refrigerated immediately, before any further cell development takes place. If they are left a while then refrigerated they won't hatch.
KittyKat
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Re: Incubating refrigerated eggs

Post by KittyKat »

Hi Chris, I was reading the internet and thought you may find this interesting as it is on topic: http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd20/10/vasc20164.htm
Kat
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