3-4 days till hatch, 'sick' egg color

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by cricket-cricket, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. cricket-cricket

    cricket-cricket Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    32
    Feb 22, 2007
    Well, we're 3 - 5 days until our muscovies hatch. ALso have a couple of chickies in there due about the same time. I've been trying to candle now and then to pull eggs I thought were gonners. I want to avoid a blow up at all cost. I fear that would not only ruin our incubator (styro LG), but the rest of the hatch> (the scovies were an experiment, but the chicks I definitely want).

    I cleaned and put down some of that spongy 'quilted' shelf liner material. (THe eggs have a tendancy to roll around otherwise), and filled the water res. At this point, I believe I can do no more.

    This is only our second time using the bator. Our only other experience was with brown eggs, so this is our 1st time observing white eggs. (The Muscovy eggs are white). During my final preps this afternoon, I noticed that one of the eggs is discolored. The bottom end is darker, or "grayer", then there's a wide strip of lighter area reaching to mid-egg - the rest of the egg- midway to narrow tip is again, clearly darker or grayer. Is this normal? or an indication that I have another quitter? If it is dead - how long until she blows? Can I just let it go full term?

    I keep envisioning that it has died and what I'm seeing is the contents sticking to the shell and discoloring as it clots/rots. Again, this is our 2nd time incubating - 1st time with 'white' eggs.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  2. mangled

    mangled Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is there an odor? I've incubated 8 or 9 times and only ever had one egg go bad on me, and oy! it stunk. As soon as I opened up the 'bator to add water, I smelled it.

    Also, it was kinda damp on the outside. Don't know about the discoloration, I saw which one was "weepy" and chucked it out into the woods.

    Did you candle them?

    Em
     
  3. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,836
    26
    191
    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    If the duck eggs shells are like the shells my Khaki Campbells had, they're sort of translucent. When I had KC's about to hatch, the colors of the down made them look like that. i thought they were bad, but it was just the darker areas of down, looking black or grey because it was wet, and they hatched fine.
     
  4. Skitz

    Skitz Skitz15k

    6,577
    15
    276
    Nov 11, 2008
    Texas
    hatching vibes going your way [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. cricket-cricket

    cricket-cricket Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    32
    Feb 22, 2007
    Thank you all. Maybe it IS down!

    No, no smell - and thanks for the heads up over 'sweating' eggs. I'll be sure to look for that. Will keep you posted.

    Only a few days to go now!
     
  6. farmgirlie1031

    farmgirlie1031 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2008
    IA
    When my 2 Scovie eggs got discolored they also started to smell. I had 4 good and 2 bad in a set of 6. Both the bad ones started turning gray and purplish sorta like a bruise and boy did they smell when I cracked them open to see how far along the ducklings had gotten. Could be down like the others said but also watch for a smell. As soon as the smell bad pitch them so they don't explode and ruin the rest of the eggs.
     
  7. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,836
    26
    191
    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Another thing I've found is that live eggs, once they're about halfway or thereabouts, will begin generating enough body heat that they'll feel a lot warmer than an egg that has expired. A dead egg loses heat much faster than a live one. Right out of the 'bator, you can feel the temp difference within about a minute, if not sooner.

    So if they don't stink, and seem to be holding heat normally, odds are they're ok. If they get cold fast, or smell funny, they're goners.

    I've never hatched 'scovies, I don't know if the shells are as translucent as KC's or not. My chickens' eggs, you'd never see any trace of down color through the shell. If they discolored, they'd be gone, for sure. Never had that happen, though.
     
  8. barnwife

    barnwife Chillin' With My Peeps

    530
    0
    139
    Feb 21, 2009
    central Texas
    That soudns about right for duck eggs...a super dark, middle off dark, and the air sac very light end.

    I have pure cayuga (dark/medium green eggs) and cayuga/rouen/pekin mix eggs (white shell) both have the same pattern.

    You can tell if you have a quitter b/c there will be NO movement without twirling/moving the egg...then the contents will kinda swim around grossly, without much restraint.

    Also, if you sniff the shell you can smell whether its growing a duck or bacteria.

    Another way you can tell eggs are bad is if you notice yellow goo stuck on it...this is the stage immediately before they explode...they weep yellowish or off white creamy gunk.

    If you keep them in clear plastic cartons you can mist them with water, stick em back in the bator and 30 minutes later check for a creamy color in the water in each egg cup. I do this for the quail eggs...which are IMPOSSIBLE to candle for fertility or anything else...and quails are only 50-60% hatch rate for non-shipped anyhow....I had to learn quickly how to tell the off eggs.


    Also..you CAN clean the lgg if explosion occurs...a toothbrush with some bleach water, brush gunk gently off..it takes about 10 minutes to get all parts and rinses well., dries quickly, then you're back in buisness.

    I hope this helps put you at ease! Happy hatching!
     
  9. cricket-cricket

    cricket-cricket Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    32
    Feb 22, 2007
    Thanks again all. Barnwife this is wonderful advice.

    Here's the rest of the story - of the seven that have made it thus far, about 4 of them are there by accident. How do I explain....

    I was trying to get the incubator regulated. Took over a WEEK! (Those LG's are sure fickle). To be sure from the start that mass wasn't playing a role, I added 4-5 "dumby" eggs to help get things regulated. These eggs had sat on the porch one night when the temps dropped below freezing, so I believed were not viable. A few days later when the thing was regulated, I tossed in a few more of the cold eggs to see how fast the incubator could resume temp, and ultimately continued fiddling with my regulating process. In the meantime, I was collecting the nice clean eggs I REALLY wanted to incubate.

    After FINALLY getting the thing regulated and conditions just right, I was ready to toss the 'dumby eggs' and replace with the chose ones. Out of pure curiousity, I thought I'd candle the dumbies. Guess what. Yep. I don't know how they did it, but there were quite a few that were well on their way.[​IMG]

    Soooo....I truly have no idea what the actual hatch date is. I DO know that I have 3 different start dates. I marked them according to what i could remember, and am expecting a staggard hatch.

    I noticed tonight that another of those eggs with the early hatch date is also taking on that bruised, gray coloring. So they're either both going south, or both acting normally.

    This certainly has been an interesting ride.
     
  10. cricket-cricket

    cricket-cricket Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    32
    Feb 22, 2007
    Update: By executive decision - I pitched those eggs. No weeping, but I was dubious. No tremendous odor - but one of them had a very faint smell like old socks...and yes, it was permeating the bator. I began to recognize that dirty socks smell upon opening.

    By contrast, a couple other eggs (due the same day or so I think) did not seem to be exhibiting the same discoloration. I hated to candle this late in the game - but am glad I did. There was a clear difference in the size of the open / empty space in the wide end of the eggs - so I'm pretty sure I made the right decision.

    Although tough to take pics thru those small windows, I thought I'd post them in the event anyone else has similar questions. You can see what i mean by 'sick' color. 4 left - 2-5 days to go! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by