Incubating Shell-less Eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lampshadeee69, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. The other day I walked into the coop and saw a couple of lumps sitting where a few of my hens are known to randomly lay eggs. At first I thought it was poop but when I looked closer, it was really two shell-less eggs. One was broken and the yolk was spilled out, but the other was still intact. I kept it in a safe place and am planning to incubate it when my next batch of chicks hatches on Tuesday (just put the incubator on lockdown this morning). I checked but didn't see any posts of people actually trying this, so I'll give it a shot and let everyone know how it goes. I'm thinking that it should make a "shell" for it, because experience has shown me that an exposed membrane like that will not protect against bacteria and an infection would kill the embryo. I saw a few other posts of people who fixed broken eggs; one guy who taped dented quail eggs and had a successful hatch, and another lady who put a coat of nail polish over the outside of a cracked egg and was also successful. Tape would probably be too hard for a chick to break out of, so I'm thinking nail polish might have to be the way to go. There is a a lot of risk with using nail polish, the main issue being the egg is covered in dust which means an uneven coat. Should I clean it and risk breaking it? Would that do more harm than good? Should I even make a shell in the first place or should I just incubate as is? I'm open to any and all suggestions![​IMG]
     
  2. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    My honest opinion is to not to bother trying to incubate a shelless egg. Why not wait a few more days, collect some regular shelled eggs, and incubate those?
     
  3. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can fix a crack in an egg but you can't cover the whole egg. It would never work. The reason humidity levels are so important in incubating is because the egg is porous and needs certain levels of humidity so the egg can develop and hatch properly. If you sealed the egg in nail polish or tape, then it would (for lack of a better word) suffocate.

    I have fixed several cracked eggs with plain white wax....I would never try nail polish, but that's just me.
     
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  4. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I personally wouldn't do nail polish. Since the egg is pourous, and you're talking about the ENTIRE egg, you have to worry about the harmful chemicals being absorbed into the egg. If the bacteria didn't kill the chick, the nail polish probably would.

    Bacteria, however, can get into a egg with a shell, too. If your incubator is clean enough to hatch a normal egg, it SHOULD be clean enough to hatch a shell-less egg. But just in case, I would sterilize the incubator first, before putting the shell-less egg in there.

    Once it is in there, you have to worry about turning it though. My suggestion for that would be to set the egg in the top-half of one of those plastic easter eggs (top half being the end with the small pointy tip). Then set THAT into the egg turner, leaving the large end exposed for oxygen.
     
  5. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, if the plastic egg thing doesn't work (the real egg's membrane may hang over just enough to start poking it) then you can try paper cup-cake liners.
     
  6. Pathfinders - This is just an experiment really, I have a a clutch of regular eggs going in along with this one Tuesday.

    MuranoFarms - Good point, although I haven't had much issue with humidity and chick development until the lockdown phase. I could just be lucky though. Do you melt the wax right onto the egg? I want to try this. I think LTygress's idea of a plastic easter egg or cupcake paper might solve the humidity issue because holes can be poked in the plastic, and paper is porous.

    LTygress - You're probably right that the chemicals would kill the embryo, so nail polish and tape are out. Plus I would have to start polishing today in order to get it ready for Tuesday. Painting it all at once would just stick it to whatever surface I dry it on, so I would have to do it in increments which takes more time. Do you think a plastic easter egg would be a good enough substitute for the real thing? Come to think of it, could I just take a real egg shell, crack it in half, put the shell-less one inside, then seal it using wax?
     
  7. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you used the plastic egg, I wouldn't close it in there at all! I would just use the small-end half to sit it in the egg turner safely.

    As for a normal egg shell, I would also say no. You'd have to take out all layers of membrane to make it equivalent to what the shell-less eggs are missing.

    Just keep humidity high at first until (and if) it starts to develop. At that point, the blood vessels will keep it pretty soft and humid. The next issue would be hatching, which is when the membrane dries out, as the blood vessels are disconnected and/or absorbed.
     
  8. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    Let us know how it goes, it will be interesting to see if it hatches!
     
  9. This experiment was basically doomed from the beginning. When I put the egg in, it was starting to harden on one side and dehydrate. By day 2 of incubation, it was hard as a rock and had solidified. On day 5, when I usually candle my eggs, I noticed the membrane was split open and the yolk was exposed. Next time I should put the egg in right away. Waiting gave it time to dehydrate. If I incubated it as soon as I found it, and left it at the proper humidity, I might have had a shot...
     
  10. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    Ah well, we live and we learn.

    How did the other eggs do? Hatched yet?
     

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