Just got eggs for incubating and they're dirty

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ScotianChick, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2010
    My husband bought some fertilized (We hope) Easter Egger eggs for incubating. A lot of them are dirty and look like they've been pooped on. Should I clean them or leave them as is before putting them in the incubator?
  2. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    THis is a question often asked. The big hatcheries do wash their eggs ( and dry them) and do have very good hatch rates. Many people do not like to remove the bloom by washing the eggs.Bloom is a protective layer. If the eggs are slightly dirty, you can spot clean with an emery board. You can wash in warm water , temp of water must be warmer than the egg temp to prevent egg pulling dirty water into the egg.

    GL and enjoy hatching!
  3. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2010
    So it's in cold water that will happen? That's good to know. I recently started cleaning a couple of my eggs with a damp cloth because one chicken seems to sit in a nest (not even broody) and take a nap and have a few poops! Normally, I'm quick and I get them before anything happens but not always.
  4. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2010

    DO NOT CLEAN! There is a thin layer outer egg shell that protect the egg from bacteria.
  5. Ilovemyduckies

    Ilovemyduckies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2012
    People say that you should wash them off first to keep bacteria away, but I don't think it matters. People have hatched chicks from muddy eggs.
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Google it. There have been many, many studies as the industry is very interested in achieving the best hatch rates, of course. Lot's of studies are on line.

    The fact is that the commercial hatcheries wash/sanitize all their eggs and have outstanding hatch rates. Yet, when the studies are done, there is a statistical tie in the hatch rates of washed and unwashed, with the washed eggs have a very slight advantage. Showing time and again the egg bloom issue is really overblown in importance.

    Yes, it you wash, rinse quickly in water 20 degrees warmer than the egg. Using cold water causes bacteria to be drawn into the egg. That's not desired.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  7. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2010
    So I didn't go crazy with the cleaning. I took a warm, damp cloth and cleaned off the bigger pieces of gunk on them. I know EVERYONE says "it's just mud from their feet" that is such BS. I watched one of my chickens strain so hard she pooped after laying an egg, right on the egg. These had some streaks of white and brown on them just like poo. If it was just mud, I'd leave it but something isn't so cool about having poo, festering in a bator for 21 days. So I got rid of the nastier patches, I dried them and let them sit for a few hours and now they're in the incubator.

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