1. ChooksChick
    Hatching dark eggs can be very iffy, and a lot of people experience difficulty with them, particularly when the eggs were shipped.

    I sand my eggs when they are shipped, especially when they are VERY dark.

    I only sand until I'm just through the color, and then I mist the eggs with a betadine-water dilution the color of iced tea. This covers the contamination that could occur now that I've removed the bloom.

    The idea is to promote evaporation to allow the chick to grow smaller than it would if it contained all of the moisture from the start. Chicks that develop too large due to high humidity can't turn correctly. They are also prone to drowning if evaporation doesn't occur as well as it ought to.

    I have had too many chicks large enough that they couldn't pip or hatch properly- fully formed chicks that didn't make it at hatch. Once I started using this method (got it from an Emu farmer!) I have had significantly better success with shipped eggs. It doesn't seem to really be necessary with local eggs (my own) and I'm not certain why. When hatching in a really nice incubator, like a Sportsman or an rcom, it also doesn't appear to be necessary, but with most affordable models, it's a helpful method. This may be due to the higher flow fans in the nicer models noted.

    I do increase humidity at the end of my hatch, as per my Incubation Cheater, the same for Marans as for other eggs. My feeling is that if you have evaporated the proper amount during the first 18 days, you can't drown them with humidity at the end. Humidity merely prevents evaporation, it doesn't make eggs 'take-on' water.

    This works well for me, but like most on BYC, I don't consider myself an egg-spert... I just like to share my egg-speriences to help anyone else who might be able to learn from them!


    Sanding the Marans, Penedescenca, Welsummer eggs

    1. Use an emery board or 400+ grain sandpaper. I use a circular motion and make sure I'm moving the hand with the sander, not the egg. Try not to rattle the egg unnecessarily. Sand in fine lines removing 25%-30% of the color, only just to the white part, not deeply.


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    2. Put the eggs on a paper towel and mist them with a 30% povidone iodine to 70% water blend.

    3. Wait for it to dry, turn, repeat, dry, turn, repeat. You can't be too careful about making sure the whole thing gets lightly misted, but don't
    saturate it.

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  1. CyndiD
    Ok, great. Thanks again for ur time & ur reply
  2. AVHalls
    I wouldn't. The reason Marans eggs are sometimes sanded is because their shells are thicker than other eggs, Orpington eggs are not thicker.
  3. CyndiD
    Thanks for ur reply but, i need to know if i should sand them as ChooksChick demonstrated??
  4. AVHalls
    Orpington eggs are not near as dark as Marans.
  5. CyndiD
    Does this apply to brown Buff Orph eggs? Some of her eggs r darker than others.
  6. mollybuck
    interesting. this would explain why i had a better hatch rate with the BLRW eggs that came through the mail, than with the maran eggs I got from a neighbor.
  7. LeviS
    I avoided hatching dark eggs year, just for that reason. Thank you for the info!
  8. LeviS
    I avoided hatching dark eggs year, just for that reason. Thank you for the info!
  9. Sueg4332
    I forgot about this method. thanks for posting. I just sat 13 dark wheaten eggs this morning. I wonder if it is to late to sand?
  10. AVHalls
    Marans eggs drive me crazy, they fully develop but don't peep. I keep the humidity a bit higher than normal. Out of 7 eggs, 5 hatched but 2 died right after, they didn't even get dry - not sure why. The two that didn't hatch were fully developed
  11. Sueg4332
    going to try this when my wheaten marans start laying again. They hatch pretty good compared to the Black coppers. But they do seem tried and weaker than regular breeds without the dark egg and the heavy membrane. Marans are the most flushrating chicken I have every raised. hatching is tough . and early death.
  12. sizerdarkegg
    Wow, that's extremely interesting.
  13. jflanny
    Very interesting - had ne.ver heard that dark eggs are difficult to hatch as I have never tried but great tip

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