Curse of the smelly egg

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by exop, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. exop

    exop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Hi, all, I've been trying to incubate a batch of eggs purchased by mail from a hatchery.

    At around day 6 or day 7 of the process, I noticed definite rotten egg fumes when rotating eggs in the incubator. One Jersey Giant egg proved to be the culprit, other eggs sniff tested ok. I removed the bad one and opened it elsewhere; rotten indeed. A day later I removed another Giant egg with the same problem (that's 2 out of 3 total Giant eggs in the order.) At day 18 I candled the remaining eggs before putting them in hatch position, and though #3 never rotted, it never developed either: 0 for 3 on Jersey Giant :-(

    Here is my question. Actually, I have a couple. One, is it normal for an egg sold as a hatching egg to rot so "quickly"? I have left eggs from my own chickens at room temperature for weeks without noticing any rot or decrease in edibility. I've also incubated eggs that I refrigerated for several weeks, and hatched chicks from them. I've never seen eggs rot in an incubator before. It seems to me like something is off here, not just the eggs. Or am I wrong?

    Two, would other eggs be hurt by several days of exposure to gradually increasing rotten egg fumes from 2 eggs, in a space say the size of a hovabator or little giant? I ask b/c the candling results from this batch of eggs have been tragic. Of 11 definite discards from 2 dozen eggs, there were the 2 rotten Giants; 6 eggs totally undeveloped; one with a streak of blood; and two with dead tiny embryos the size of sparrow hatchlings, swimming in tan fluid. The remaining eggs candle dark with light air sacs, as though something developed or is developing; but the narrow tips of these eggs opposite the air sac also candle light, which I don't know if they're supposed to.

    The incubator has performed well in the past, including earlier this spring, so I don't want to rush to blame the incubator. However, due to switching between several thermometers and minor changes in the room temperature, the incubator may have been set as much as 1 1/2 degrees over temperature for the first week, to possibly half a degree (give or take) under temperature for the following week ("temperature" being 99.5 F). I know chickens' body temperature is 104 - 105 degrees, and it can be pretty hot under a hen, so I'm not as worried about the over temperature as I am about the under.

    Anyway, results seem pretty bad.

    The rotten eggs in particular seem like a problem.

    Any thoughts?

    Best - exop
     
  2. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I would think that being shipped may have caused tiny fractures invisible to the naked eye. Those, combined with the changes in atmosphereic pressure from going in airplanes, etc, would facilitate the movement of bacteria into the shell, thus making them more prone to rotting. I don't think that a few days next to "stink" will hurt an egg. If one exploded and actual contaminated egg matter came into contact with the good eggs, they may also go bad i would think. I don't know, since I have never had one blow. Good luck with the rest of your hatch. Keep us posted and feel free to post pics!!! Oh! and...

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  3. exop

    exop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Since the developing embryos need oxygen, I can't see why they wouldn't also be susceptible to hydrogen sulfide gas... I hoped someone out there knows the answer,

    Best - exop
     

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