Chicken eggs got cold for a while, will it affect my hatch? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I posted yesterday asking if my hen would get back on her eggs after I had to move them for their safety. I shut her up inside the new quarters, but after an hour and a half she still would not get back on the eggs. I felt like the eggs were going to get too cold even though our high in my part of Texas yesterday was 71 so I moved them and "Big Mamma" (Australorp hen) back to their old quarters. She gave me a dirty look and ran right back to where she had originally been and sprawled out over her eggs! The eggs were cool to the touch. Will they be OK?



-- PoePoe (, February 19, 2002


Poe Poe, I don't have chickens so this might not help but with duck eggs, lengthy cooling is usually fatal. You might ask the pros at and see what they think. Good luck I hope all is well. LQ

-- Little Quacker (, February 19, 2002.

Your hen may be upset by this invasion, but one way to tell if the eggs are progressing is to candle them: Incubation and Embryonic Development, One way to follow the progress of incubation is to candle the eggs. An egg candler can be purchased, or a flashlight can be used. Hold a small flashlight against an egg in a dark room to candle an egg. Part of the inside then becomes visible (Figure 3), By 5 days of incubation, blood vessels should be visible if the egg has a white shell. If the egg has a brown shell, several more days of incubation may be required before blood vessels are visible. If development does not occur, the eggs may not be fertile, or there may be serious incubation problems. By day 8 or 9, the chick may be startled by the light, and its movement can be seen. Candling at later stages of incubation should show that the embryo is growing and filling up the space inside the egg.

-- BC (, February 19, 2002.

An hour and a half at 71 degrees is very unlikely to do permenant damage. I live in Tennessee and my chickens are so confused by up and down weather that I had one who only hatched one chick, but that was in Janurary, and one who just last week hatched out six, (lost one)but the five she has left are very healthy. Seems like the greatest danger is making sure they stay under momma after they hatch, until they can hop up where she may go, or not fall down from where she is and chill to death. my husband found two of the new ones on the floor of the coop, almost gone, but after putting them back under her, they were fine. She was in a box on the floor, which should have been safe, but the small lip that kept shavings in the box was more than they could manage,so he gave them a two by four block to use as a perch, and they did fine. They are very small,Americana bantams,so CUTE!!!

-- kathy boice (, February 20, 2002.

I had a hen setting on eggs for several days, when I had to go away for a day. The person who came to take care of my animals conscientiously gathered the eggs and PUT THEM IN THE FRIDGE! When I got back, the next morning, I put them under the hen and to my great surprise, almost all of them hatched! I don't think your eggs are going to have problems, but of course, that's just my opinion.

I haven't read your other post, but if you want to move a hen covering a nest to a safer spot, do it quickly and gently at night. Take the eggs from under her, put them into the new nest (make the depression about the same size and shape as the old nest). In a few minutes when she's asleep again, move her and shut her in. Make sure it's dark and stays dark. (I've done this quite a few times, always successfully.) By the time she wakes up in the morning, she'll probably feel quite at home if the spot is appropriate.

-- Laura Jensen (, February 20, 2002.

Laura, If the eggs hadn't been set on by the hen before the eggs were put in the refrigerator, they will hatch. It is even suggested to store them there until you want to hatch them. If she had been sitting on them for a few days and they started developing, then had been put in the refrigerator, they would not have hatched.

-- Dee (, February 20, 2002.

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