Do you clean hatching eggs at all?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Cindy in PA, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    I have a friend who might want some hatching eggs. I have 8 saved from the last 3 days, but several have a smudge of mud from the rain the other day. Can they be used or do I have to wait to get perfectly spotless eggs? Do you dry clean them or let them be? I sure wish I had an incubator or broody hen, but will have to wait until next year.
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    If there is alot of gunk, I try to carefully brush it off. I never wash hatching eggs as it removes the protective 'slime' layer put on it as the hen laid it.
  3. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    If it's just mud, and not poop, yah I'd just try to scratch it off with your fingernail or a dry paper towel, just in the area that's dirty, try not to spread it around and don't use any water.

    If it's a poop smear and it doesn't come off easy then usually I do not set those eggs, I cook them for my dogs. Depending on how badly I need the eggs... I have (just prior to setting the eggs) ran the kitchen faucet on hot and quickly rinsed just the poopy spot, rubbing the poop off, then blotted it dry quickly with a clean paper towel. It does wash the bloom off the egg, but in this case it also takes the poop with it and you may have a viable egg. The hot water causes the membrane to expand and plug the pores of the egg so less bacteria have a chance to get in. You still run the risk of infecting the egg, but at least it's clean on the outside and you aren't spreading the poop germs all over the other eggs in your incubator when you candle them, turn them or take them out of the turner etc.

    I don't recommend washing your entire load of eggs prior to incubating them, but I have washed a lot of eggs over the years I've been incubating (but only right before I'm going to set them) and hatched a lot of keets out of eggs that would have gone to waste (dogfood) otherwise. I've always marked the washed eggs with a W in sharpie pen, just to keep track of whether or not washing the egg had a negative effect. Usually they've hatched. I also know people that wash all of their eggs like this just prior to setting them and they have pretty decent hatch rates, so how much washing the eggs effects the hatchrate and why is debatable.
  4. birdboy508

    birdboy508 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 21, 2011
    east taunton
    i dont but u can do what ever you want.

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