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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:14 am 
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Showy Hen
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Hi all,

I just got some devastating news my silkie pair and all their babies have been taken by foxes on the farm they were staying at until I moved out of the city. I know I'm far from the only person for this to have happened to but they were my first chooks and I hadn't even seen the babies yet. I am totally devastated, barely holding the tears back :upset:

So to my question I have some of their eggs here which I am sure are fertile. I was wondering how long they stay viable for. I remember reading somewhere that they can last a little longer in the fridge?? I'm sure mine are no good as I'm not sure how old they are but I know it's at least a few weeks but I thought I'd ask anyway. If there is any chance of saving a part of them I'll do it.

Bek

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:41 am 
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Clever Cockerel
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Hi there,

so sorry to hear about your chooks, damn foxes :swords: i've had my share of them lately too!

As far as I know you shouldn't put them in the fridge just in a normal carton and turn them each day until you are able to incubate them.

Others will be able to point you in the direction of sticky's on this topic as I am sure there are some under incubating.

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:26 am 
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Prime Pekin
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Fridge is not the best place to keep them, but enough chicks have been hatched from eggs that have been in fridge that it is worth a try. If they have been in the fridge less than two weeks try incubating them ASAP. Don't get your hopes up too high, but worth a try.


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 7:38 am 
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Nifty Duck
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Ive read a few journals where they have experimented with putting eggs in the fridge and then incubated with great success (remember some had 95% hatch rates). One I remember said past 27 days fertility was zero. One of the reasons they were trying it was to slow down the rate of bacteria growth in the eggs before incubation. I definatley would give it a go. Let us know how it goes if you do, would be great for you if it worked :) Edited: I forgot to add that they bought them back up to room temp before they set them in the incubator.


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Michelle

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:06 am 
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A lot depends on the temperature of the fridge. A fridge that is set at 4-6 C may be okay. A fridge that is lower than that will damage the eggs.

Ice begins to form at 4 C - not yet crystals but becoming thicker. Once an egg has been near to freezing then it begins to destroy the proteins in the egg structure.

A quick easy way to test is to break one egg into a dish. If the yolk collapses then the eggs have been too cold for too long.

But beyond that - you will know within a week of incubating if you candle the eggs. You will see development or lack of it.

Mike

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:28 am 
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Flock Master
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I am very interested in this post as my rouens lay very slowly and it take a while to get a batch big enough to put in the incubator, if the fridge idea is correct I could store the eggs for a week or two until I had enough eggs. The bacteria would also be slowed down. I look forward to hearing your results from these eggs, you have nothing to lose!! Stick them in today!!

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:41 am 
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Golden Magpie
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No - let them stand on the kitchen bench for 24 hours first to come to room temperature. Straight into a 37 C incubator will shock the eggs too much.

But yes it is an interesting experiment.

Mike

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 11:08 am 
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Ive read of Pidgeon and Quail breeders doing this William and I remember my brother used to store his eggs in the fridge.

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 11:12 am 
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Prime Pekin
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I'd be interested in seeing the results of an experiment comparing ones from the fridge with some stored at 15 degs C.
I wouldn't mind seeing some evidence that eggs go into shock too.


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 11:37 am 
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Okay Denis :biggrin: Shock was a descriptive term rather than a scientific one. But cold does originally shrink the egg contents even if its only a poofteenth. Then as you get to 4 C the matter begins to swell and thicken as you get close to freezing. Placing them straight into an incubator from the fridge just doesn't give the protein matter time to normalise and heating is going to make the reverse shrinking and expanding again in the heat happen too quickly.

A protein is defined as organic material held in solution and it stays in solution unless it is "denatured". Denaturing is caused by one of five or six processes. The action of heat (egg whites turing white when cooked, electrical current (electrophoresis) , change of ph (forming visible strands), physical damage (beating egg whites), freezing and a couple of others that I would need to drag out the biochem textboks on. Analysis of proteins is now something i had to study forty years ago. I get rusty.

Mike

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:17 pm 
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I have 8 eggs in the incubator at the moment that had all been in the fridge, mum didnt realise I wanted to incubate them and they ended up in there. They would have been in there for about a week at longest. I left them out to get to room temp for a day and at day 5 in the bator, 7 out of 8 are fertile.

I can let you know how it all turns out.

Skye


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:01 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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That's interesting I think I can understand that. Certainly it pays not to let your eggs get close to 4 degs.
Is there any likelihood of williams plan to store his duck eggs in the fridge being a good idea for anti bacterial reasons. At say 6-8 degs as opposed to the recommended 14-15 deg C. I just assume that bacteria is something everyone has to deal with and is already facrtored into the recommended storage temps. Unless your ducks are a lot more putrid than normal ducks william, I would think putting them in the fridge adds an unnecessary risk.


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 3:20 pm 
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They are just normal duck eggs but as they have dirt on them after being layed in the open I thought that the fridge might reduce the number of bacteria. I don't really know but it may be worth a shot.

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 3:43 pm 
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I'd say give it a go. Let them come to room temperature slowly then into the bator and cross your fingers. I really hope you get something from them. Let us know how you go.

NellyG

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 5:49 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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william wrote:
They are just normal duck eggs but as they have dirt on them after being layed in the open I thought that the fridge might reduce the number of bacteria. I don't really know but it may be worth a shot.

Blackdotte recently detailed a document titled "Common Incubation Problems: Causes and Remedies" By R. Ernst, in which these problems are listed:

    > 3% death of embryos in first 3 days by "preovipositional death", caused by "Eggs washed at a temperature that is too high".
    > 8% death of embryos "after transfer" can be caused by "infected eggs"

The remedy for both is "set only nest-clean eggs", and "Dry-clean eggs; eliminate dirty eggs; lower temperature of wash water to 43.3 to 48.9 degrees Celsius; produce clean eggs."

This advocates washing eggs (at a particular water temperature) to produce clean 'setting' eggs (as the yanks call it).

So william, it appears that you can wash those dirty eggs (at the right water temperature) to lessen the chance of infection.


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