Handling hatching eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Lovnlife, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Lovnlife

    Lovnlife Out Of The Brooder

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    I've heard that you should not handle hatching eggs with your bare hands, because the oils from your body will lessen your hatching percentage. Is this true?
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    First I've heard of that. I've handled hatching eggs that I've incubated and I had hens hatch eggs that I've barely touched. Can't say it's made a difference. I think it would be a good idea to wash your hands before handling them though!
     
  3. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    I have heard that, and also that the average person's hands are full of bacteria and other nasty things that can migrate through the porous eggshell and start growing very rapidly during the incubation process, destroying the embryo.

    Many disinfect their eggs before incubation for that reason and others.

    Of course, broody hens just hatch 'em where they lay 'em, but I would wash your hands well prior to handling to improve artificial incubation hatch rates.

    Edit: I didn't mean to imply that the physical handling was the only way "nasties" can get into the egg. However, handling tends to abrade the protective bloom on the shell, so is one of the ways bacteria can gain entrance to the inside. Eggs are typically laid in a less-than-sterile environment (duh), so disinfecting prior to setting is practiced by many.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  4. Lovnlife

    Lovnlife Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, this all makes sense and I practice clean hands when collecting. But I know nothing about disinfecting the eggs prior to hatching. How does one do that?
     
  5. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    Actually, prior to setting or during pre-incubation storage, although some add a disinfectant to the water used to raise the humidity in the incubator.

    A warm, dilute solution of disinfectant, like Oxine or Tek-Trol is most often used by home hatchers. Brinsea also sells a eggwash/disinfectant that can be used for this. The eggs are typically either sprayed or dunked into this dilute solution and left to air dry.

    It is my understanding that, traditionally, hatcheries use Formaldehyde gas.

    I will try to find the dilution ratios for you.
     
  6. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    We are setting eggs in two weeks, and will be using a Tek-Trol egg dip for the first time. We have not used Brinsea's product, but have used Oxine for other things.

    Here are some dilutions and use comments.


    From Brinsea


    Brinsea’s disinfectant (fully biodegradable halogenated tertiary amines) is formulated to be used for cleaning eggs, incubators, brooders and intensive care units.


    Available in concentrated form, Brinsea's Incubation disinfectant is both safe and effective against yeasts, fungi, viruses and bacteria which can cause fatal damage to the growing embryo.


    100ml of disinfectant concentrate makes 10 litres (2.64 gallons).


    For Tek-Trol


    1/2 ounce per gallon warm water (warmer than the egg), which is the standard dilution. Dip egg briefly, let air dry. Follow cautions while handling this stuff, as it is potentially harmful. We generally use Tek-Trol for heavy-duty disinfecting.


    For Oxine


    4-7 ounces per gallon warm water (recommendations vary). Use in unactivated form. Dip egg and let air dry. This is a lot safer to handle than the Tek-Trol, and we use it as a general disinfectant.

     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  7. Lovnlife

    Lovnlife Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much! Will see which one I can find and give it a whirl. Wanting to set eggs before sundown today. Need to get right on it!
     
  8. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    I hand turn my eggs and wash my hands before turning.
     

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