Storing Fertile Eggs:
Fertile eggs are alive.
Each egg contains a living cell mass that develops
into an embryo, and finally into a chick. Each
incidence of improper handling reduces the probability
of a successful hatch. Fertile eggs usually
are gathered over a period of time before an adequate
number of eggs can accumulate for incubation,
or until the incubator is available for a new set
of eggs. These normal situations require that,
before incubation, eggs must be stored properly
to ensure hatchability.
Cleaning and culling:
Cracked, poorly shaped, soiled
and unusually large or small eggs should not be
incubated. These eggs rarely hatch and they
increase the probability of introducing infection into
Eggs should not be washed. Washing or wiping
with a damp cloth removes a protective layer that coats
the egg. Soiled eggs should be cleaned by gently
buffing the soiled area with fine sandpaper. Washing
eggs transfers disease infection agents from the
surface to the inside of the eggs.
If an egg is washed, it should be washed briefly in
110-degree F water that contains a commercial egg
sanitizer. Washing an egg in water that is
cooler than the egg itself causes egg contents to contract.
Contraction of egg contents draws water into the egg
through pores in the shell. This water carries infecting
microorganisms into the egg.
After clean and undamaged
eggs have been selected for incubation, use
great care to prevent damage or contamination of the eggshells.
This includes using frequent hand washing as a barrier
to microbial contamination.
Ideally, eggs should
be set in the incubator as soon after gathering
as possible to maintain egg quality. If eggs are
to be stored before incubation, the best hatchability
occurs when eggs are stored for less than 7 days from
the time they were laid. However, some species are more
sensitive to storage than other species. Hatchability
decreases rapidly in eggs held in storage for more
than 10 days. Storing eggs longer than 2 weeks
also can extend the normal incubation time as much
as 1 day.
Positioning and turning eggs during storage:
Eggs that will be stored
for less than 10 days before incubation should
be placed on egg flats or in egg cartons
with the large end up. Eggs do not need to be turned
from side to side during storage if they are incubated
within the week the eggs are laid. If the eggs are not
sealed in a plastic bag, cover them with a loose fitting
material to prevent debris or dust from soiling the eggs.
Eggs stored for more than 10 days should be tilted
from side to side over a 90-degree angle once or twice
a day to assure optimal hatching success rates.
To turn eggs during the holding period, place a
6-inch block under one end of the carton (or flat) holding
the eggs to produce a 45-degree angle against the floor.
The next day, remove the block and place it under the
opposite end of the carton. Turning eggs prevents
some hatchability loss that can occur during long-term
Stages in chick embryo development
Chick embryos that have been incubated for approximately 48, 72 and 96 hours after fertilization will be available for you to examine. However, specimens of similar ages post-fertilization may show a wide variation of maturation stages. The incubation times provide only an estimation of how far development of the embryo will have progressed. The temperature of incubation (which may be different among eggs depending on their locations within the incubator), as well as the rate of growth of the individual embryo itself will affect the overall ..... More
Description about incubation periods, sizes, eggs in clutch
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