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egg candling novice with ?? about bacteria

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by yomama, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. So I am watching my neigbhor's chicken flock of a million, again, and pulled some eggs out from under one of their hens. Any eggs they want to keep and have hatch out are always marked with an "x", and these were not. Anyway, I did the water test and these eggs were almost floating, so for curiosity sake, I decided to try to candle them. I looked up on line at BYC and saw some great pics of what different stages could look like. I headed off to my dark bathroom, flashilight in hand and gave it a go. From what I could tell, all but one looked like the stage where they could be infected with bacteria, spotted all over. Now mind you, my neighbors don't pull eggs as often as they should, hence the gazillion chickens that they have, so I don't know how old these eggs are. The hen that was on them is always sitting everytime I see her, and who knows how long ago they even checked the eggs under her. Although they freerange during the day, my neighbors coops are filled with 2 - 3 inches of poo * everywhere but the roof *, they are really bad. Needless to say, the eggs, unless gathered early, are covered in mass amounts of poo. A little poo that I can brush off, no problem, but these would need to be scrubbed with soap and water big time. Sorry for the long story, but my question is, if the egg is showing signs of bacteria growth like this, is it ok to still eat them? I have no plans to eat them, but it made me curious. What causes the egg to be infected with bacteria, being in all that poo?
    Thanks for any input!
  2. georgialee

    georgialee Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    Do you mean spotted as in being porous? If so that means bacteria *could* enter but they are safe for eating. If the eggs are starting to develop you would see some veins growing by the third day or so. If you don't see that I would say they're safe to eat (as long as they don't smell and you don't think they've been in there for weeks).
  3. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane 8 Years

    Jun 10, 2010
    If the shell looks like it's pock marked with lighter areas, then it's not infected with bacteria, it just means that the shell is very porous (possibly from improper diet of the hens). These eggs, like Georgia said, are very susceptible to bacterial infections. However, when you candle an egg that has a bacterial infection, you should be able to see a red 'blood circle' inside the shell.

    Here is a good site for candling bad eggs: http://shilala.homestead.com/candling.html

    your picture looks like one of the top 2 pictures or the fifth picture, it's most likely bacteria. If it looks like the sixth picture (which is what it sounds like you're describing) then it may not necessarily be infected.

    At any rate, I wouldn't eat eggs that you don't know the lay date for. Any egg hens have been sitting on for 5+ days are probably no good for eating, just as you wouldn't want to eat an egg from an incubator that had been incubating for that amount of time.

    As for what makes them infected, well, there's bacteria everywhere. The shell of an egg is built to keep bacteria out but it can still get in from the chicken before the egg forms fully, or in the case of porous egg shells (like picture 6 on that site) they can just march right in through the shell because it wasn't formed properly. It's not necessarily the poo, because even in a clean facility, bacteria can still get into eggs as there's really no escaping its presence.

    I will shortly be posting an eggtopsy thread and one of the pictures will be what a bacteria-ridden egg looks like from the inside.
  4. Thanks for the info. That helps![​IMG]

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