Proper Egg Handling & Storing Eggs for Maximum Hatching RateMini Incubators

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Instructions in German language / Deutsche Anweisungen


The following factors will help to ensure an egg is of best possible quality:

NOTE:- Eggs should be stored with pointed end down.

For maximum hatchability, eggs should be incubated 2 – 3 days after laying. However, eggs may remain viable for 10 days up to 2 weeks under optimum conditions.


High ambient (room) temperatures may result in incubation starting early, which decreases the chance of the embryos developing normally. If the storage temperatures go below freezing, the cell structure breaks down which prevents the embryos from developing.

The ideal storage temperature is between 10ºC and 20.6ºC (50 – 69ºF). For maximum hatchability, eggs that are less than 5 days old should best be stored at 15.6ºC – 17.2 ºC (60 – 63ºF), and those eggs that won’t be incubated for 5 days or longer after hatching should be stored at 10.6ºC or 51ºF.


Storage and Handling of Eggs

• Humidity

The best humidity level at which to store eggs is between 75 to 85% RH (Relative Humidity) to avoid significant drying out of the egg before incubation. Humidity can be increased via a humidifier or containers with water in them kept near the eggs. Maintaining appropriate humidity levels is easier in areas with high humidity as opposed to desert (dry) areas.

• Time in Storage

Depending on species, it is preferable that eggs should ideally not be kept for more than 7 days prior to incubation. Although eggs may be viable for up to 14 days, hatchability begins to decrease considerably. Vitamins decay and membranes breakdown in time and so the embryo can often suffer early mortality.

• Cleanliness

Cracked, mis-shaped and heavily soiled eggs should be discarded (if possible). Soiled eggs may be cleaned using a brand egg wash solution such as Brinsea Incubation Disinfectant Concentrate following the manufacturers instructions. It is essential to wash eggs in solution that is significantly warmer than the egg so that expansion in the egg causes flow out through the pores rather than dirty water flowing inwards. Bear in mind that all solutions will remove the outer cuticle from the egg as well as the dirt and may leave the egg at greater risk from bacterial contamination in the future.

• Turning During Storage

If you are storing the eggs for more than one day, the eggs need to be turned. This has to be done once or twice a day (morning and evening) – about 35 – 45 degrees each way, back and forth through 90º. This can be achieved by placing the eggs in egg cartons and proping the egg cartons up with objects at 35 or 45 degrees. Then you can turn t he eggs twice a day by simply shifting the end of the carton.

DO NOT turn the eggs upside down, but instead carefully tilt them from side to side. The objective is to keep the yolk moving as insufficient turning can cause the yolk to float and touch membranes near the shell. If the embryo touches them it may stick and prevent growth once inside the incubator.

• Handle Eggs Carefully

Eggs should be handled with care as severe bumping may rupture the yolk membranes, even if the shell remains undamaged. Reasonable care should also be taken during incubation also. A bump can rupture blood vessels causing the chick to bleed to death.

• Collection of Eggs

Generally the best time to collect eggs is before 9am, and to check again at lunchtime. Eggs left in the nest for much longer than 24 hours tend to be poor hatchers.

• Egg Shape, Shell Texture and Quality

Some naturally misshaped eggs have lower than expected hatch rates. Undersize eggs often have a large yolk in proportion to the albumen. Large eggs can sometimes be ‘double yolkers’ which will not hatch. Misshaped eggs usually have faults in the shell.


Relevant Resources:


Aufbewahrung der Eier

Lagern Sie die Eier kühl und feucht, mit dem spitzen Ende unten.

Die meisten Spezies können problemlos bis zu 14 Tagen aufbewahrt werden, bevor es zu einer ernsthaften Reduzierung der Schlupfrate kommt. Die tägliche Wendung der gelagerten Eier sorgt ebenfalls für bessere Brutergebnisse.

Entfernen Sie, falls möglich, angeschlagene, verformte und stark verschmutzte Eier. Reinigen Sie die verschmutzten Eier nur in einer speziellen Waschlösung. Folgen Sie hierbei den genauen Anweisungen des Herstellers.  Es ist wichtig, dass die Eier in einer Lösung gereinigt werden, die bedeutend wärmer ist als die Temperatur des Eis. Denken Sie daran, dass alle Lösungen nicht nur den Schmutz sondern auch die äußere Haut des Eis entfernen. Dies kann zu einem größeren Infektionsrisiko führen und ist nur bei stärksten Verschmutzungen zu empfehlen.


Information contained on this website is provided as general reference only. For application to specific circumstances, professional advice should be sought.


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