Main Virtual Farm Logo
Home: Poultry: Virtual Hatch Project : Culling and Caring for Eggs Prior to Incubation

Keeping a male with a laying hen does not guarantee the hen's eggs are fertile or will hatch.

Culling fertile eggs prior to setting them in an incubator can increase the number of eggs that will hatch. Fertile eggs from a commercial hatchery are usually already sorted; however, it is usually wise to check your eggs before setting them. Cracked eggs, thin-shelled eggs such as body-checks, and double-yolked eggs hatch very poorly. These eggs should be removed before incubating.

Proper care of fertile eggs prior to incubation is essential for success. The eggs should be collected within 4 hours from when they were laid. Never wash the eggs unless absolutely necessary. Then only use water warmer than the egg so the egg sweats and releases the dirt. If you use cold water, the egg will contract and pull the dirt and bacteria deeper into its pores.

If you need to store fertile eggs before setting, store small-end down at a temperature of 50° F to 65° F.


Home Contents Contact Us About Virtual Farm
Help Contact Us Talk to a Producer Contents Home