How to clean eggs for hatching?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by shelleyd2008, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I found a guinea nest yesterday. I candled the eggs (since I did have a broody guinea hen disappear), but the eggs do not have any development in them. They are also not cloudy-looking, meaning to me that they are not 'bad'. But they are very dirty!! They've got dirt and grass all over them!

    How can I clean them so I can set them in the bator?

    ETA: I don't think the 'running them under warm water, and wiping clean' method will do the trick, the dirt is stuck to them pretty good.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Well you've got two points of view.

    If you clean them then you ruin the 'slime' layer that keeps out bacteria.

    If you don't clean them, they may have enough mud on them to keep them from breathing.

    Good luck.
  3. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Just place them in the incubator. Mama wouldn't clean them. Most will hatch if they are fertile and didn't get cold for to long.
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    A lot of folks I've talked to who incubate duck eggs (ducks are very messy, and don't use nests as reliably as chickens do) wash their eggs before incubation with good success. What I've been told to do is to fill a bowl or sink with warm (80-90 degrees is probably good--I just get it up to warmer than room temperature, but not hot) water and common dish soap. I dunk the egg, remove, gently rub it, dunk, remove, gently rub, dunk, etc. I don't leave them submerged for very long--I don't know if that's important, but it just doesn't seem right to me to leave them underwater for long. This method takes a while for each egg, but the dirt does eventually come off without too much trauma to the "slime" layer. It *does* in fact remove some of it, though, so I expect the air sac to dry out faster, and probably they'll be somewhat more vulnerable to bacteria and what-not. But compared to setting them with filth all over them, I think it's worth it.

    My first batch I did *not* wash, but they weren't that dirty either.

    Keep us updated!
  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    I'd wipe them and incubate them. No water or moisture. Getting them wet just risks pushing stuff into the shell and as mentioned removes the protective layer. If one of my eggs gets wet or damp it is then dog food. I don't eat them or incubate them. I will set quite dirty eggs and had them hatch fine provided anything on the shell did not stay damp too long. I also have no problem putting poop streaked eggs in the fridge. They've yet to go bad and I don't eat many eggs. Sometimes they sit around for months and sometimes the fridge is full and they sit on the counter for months. Still haven't gone bad even if I wiped chicken poop off and pulled feathers and shavings stuck to them when I collected them.
  6. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Quote:I don't think these were set on at all, and it's been so hot here lately that I'd be more worried about them getting too warm!
    And I know that mama wouldn't clean them, but have you ever seen a dirty egg in a broody's nest? They are usually glossy, from mama turning them, and the eggs rubbing on her belly.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by