Can Cold Eggs Still Be Incubated?

If fertile eggs get too cold can you still incubate them?

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Incubating Eggs
by: Sharon

Thanks for the question!

I'm not sure how cold you believe TOO cold is - or how cold the eggs got.

Hens lay several eggs before they begin to set and incubate the eggs. The eggs get as cold as the ambient air. This way, when she does set, the eggs all begin to incubate at the same time, being warmed by the hen & chicks hatch all around the same time.

It's common for hatcheries to refrigerate eggs until they have enough to fill an incubator.

I've frozen the contents of eggs - without shells, to use later, and the consistency of the yolks change, never returning to normal when thawed. So, based on that, I would say that a frozen egg would no longer be able to hatch.

I'm unable to find a specific temperature that would "kill" a fertilized egg and have never tested the theory. Maybe you will be the first to document the concept. I've read that eggs for hatching should be kept no colder than 50 degrees F.

I would say if you believe the eggs reached a freezing temperature, they are definitely not good candidates for hatching.

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