Help! First time incubating, rotten egg


In the Brooder
Sep 28, 2020
This is my first time incubating eggs, and on day 21 I noticed a foul smell in the incubator (6 egg manual rotator, Walmart). I have removed the egg I believe to be the most likely culprit, no ooze or explosion, but the three other eggs in the incubator are all active. However, the incubator still stinks and I’m sure the other eggs are just sitting in the bad egg residue. What should I do? Should I wash them, or will the bacteria deep into the shell? What about the incubator? One egg has pipped, but in the past three hours hasn’t moved, it’s beak is only just poking through the shell. Did the bad air kill him? The other two are peeping inside the egg, but I’m very concerned for their well being. Please let me know what to do!

Pork Pie

Premium Feather Member
Jan 30, 2015
Hi and welcome to BYC. Whilst I have no experience with the issue you describe, I would be inclined to leave the incubator alone, since you have a chick hatching. Maintaining humidity and heat are crucial at that stage. I’m sure the experts will be along soon to advise.

Awakening Forest

Premium Feather Member
Aug 14, 2020
North Central Florida
Welcome. I would definitely not wash the eggs at this point. If the egg wasn't oozing, you may have caught it in time. It won't hurt to lift the lid and let some fresh air in for a couple of seconds. Make sure you add water to raise your humidity at the same time so it isn't just lowering the temperature for nothing. It could be that you are just very sensitive to the smell and it is far worse for you than for the chicks. It does stink pretty bad. And of course once they pip, the chick also rests so just keep your eye on it.I've pulled eggs up to the second week that had started to smell and ooze but none so close to hatching. It never had an adverse effect on the hatch as far as I could tell. Post on the incubation forum in the link offered in the above post for more information.

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