First time broody with filthy eggs, should I do anything?

chickboss

Songster
9 Years
Mar 23, 2010
1,297
16
151
I have my first broody and she of course set herself up in the worst place possible in a bin under the roosts. Today, I was gentle trying to clean her nest and was preparing to move her nest area when she spooked and jumped off the nest. Her eggs are disgusting. Caked with poo. I didn't know what to do, since all of the broodies we had when we were young free ranged and when we came upon a nest it was usually very clean. This is her first time being a Mamma, so I don't know if she has been defecating in her own nest or if she is getting off the nest in the evening while the others have already been roosting. It is kind of funny, because that is an area of the roosts that the hens previously were not using until about 4 days ago. Figures, silly chickens...
Anyway, I don't know if I should somehow try to clean them or not. I don't want to keep disturbing her, and I don't want to damage the eggs, but don't want problems with bacteria either. Thanks for any advice!
 

feathersnuggles

Songster
10 Years
Sep 4, 2009
1,120
14
151
Seattle
The bloom on her eggs protects them from bacteria. She put on the bloom, before they got poopy. If the broody is gonna hatch them, I would not worry about cleaning them, at all. Chances are, she might have a small poop in the nest while she's setting on them. Hopefully not. But, if you've washed them, you would have removed the protective bloom and any new dirt or poop after that will penetrate the egg and contaminate the embryo or chick. You cannot re-coat the washed egg with anything like vaseline or the chick won't be able to breath inside the egg.

So, I'd just LEAVE the eggs as they are. If you absolutely HAVE to clean, rub very gently & lightly with a dry cloth. Then turn your back and forget the eggs are dirty. After all, you don't have to eat these.
 

chickboss

Songster
9 Years
Mar 23, 2010
1,297
16
151
new2chooks~ Thanks for the bump!

feathersnuggles~ I haven't cleaned them yet, so I'll let them be. Thanks for the info. I knew about the bloom, but wasn't sure how well it worked. LOL. Silly monkey that I am, just can't trust M. Nature to take care of her own
I'll turn my back and forget about it. LOL, hopefully, I'll have eight or so adorable mutt chicks in another week and a half or so...
 

Nostalchic

Songster
11 Years
Oct 14, 2008
495
3
121
North Front Range Colorado
Hey Chickboss, search "broody hen article" on this site; there is a great article about the ins and outs of managing a broody. I just had one of my hens hatch a few Maran eggs for me for the first time, and (after the fact) this article answered a lot of my questions for me. This has been really fun to observe and the chicks are doing great with very little help from me.
 

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