Keeping Duck Eggs Clean?!?! Anyway possible?


10 Years
May 25, 2009
Lake Placid FLorida
Im suppose to ship out 8 Cayuga test eggs monday and the darn ducks wont quit making a mess in their nest house!! The eggs get muddy and stained and I doubt the people who ordered them would appiciate me washing them most likely. How do you clean your eggs for shipping and how can I make the ducks quit making mudpies in their nest??

Edit: I use hay in the nest and within one DAY they have it caked
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No offense, as I appreciate your situation, but I'm not aware of any way to keep ducks-anything clean...putting a whole bale of hay in my pen might work for a day or two...

I've always been told not to wash shipped eggs...greater possibility of infection/fungus...

Yikes, ONE you elevate the nest at all? (Sorry, I've not propagated Ducks yet, only had them for around 9 months)
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Hi Rainstorm--Long time no "see." I have the same issue with my duck eggs, although I'm having pretty decent luck this season because they are hanging out outside and only going in the duck house to lay. They used to not lay in the house at all, but putting a few golf balls in there has encouraged them to use the nest nearly every time. They still manage to get the eggs muddy by digging down to the dirt and then covering the eggs (and golf ball, lol) in straw, but at least they're not also covered in mud.

But if yours are making messes in the nest boxes, then I don't really see how to fix that. Just understand that people who have hatched ducks before should expect that the eggs will be dirty. I would simply wipe off anything that comes off easily (do it right away before it dries on), and ship them as-is. Let the purchaser know ahead of time so they don't freak out. Just so you know, my hatch rates went up several percentage rates when I stopped washing the eggs. I hardly represent a scientifically significant sampling, given that I've only hatched about five batches of eggs, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

Good luck, anyway!
HI! Thanks! Will do. and would it be OK to lightly dampen a cloth and wipe them? only gonna have 8 eggs before monday and 2 eggs had already dried by the time I got them today because I had to go pick up goslings from the PO this morning before I could collect them
I gently wash (yes, wash) my eggs in warm water, using a very soft sponge w/antibacterial hand soap. Other than call duck eggs, I have been having great hatches! I also refrigerate my eggs. I hatch the old eggs and ship out the freshest ones. And STILL I have a good hatch. That stuff about "never wash hatching eggs" is bull-malarkey. Mine hatch just fine. I have many happy egg customers as well. Your eggs would be a lot cleaner when collected if you can elevate the nests a foot or 2. And change the hay/straw daily.
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Yes i know, but im not building savy and cant get anyone aorund here to help me to save anyones life. unless of course I wait about a year while continuely nagging them. So I make due with what I have. Hopefully after selling a few dozen of eggs and after the next swap ill be saved enough to get a guy that helped my cousin build her pen to builb me a new chicken pen with a small nest house for the ducks
I sell cayuga eggs too from our blacks and blues. I always just have to explain in my auctions or privately, which ever way they are sold, That in no way should they expect them to be clean pearly white eggs like chickens. With all the mud and mess stuck to their feet, it's just going to happen. That's why duck eggs have such a waxy feel to them. They are coated extra heavily to protect the embryo against any infection from this.
At this point most people understand. But all ground nesting species of waterfowl are going to have dirty eggs. I too use hay to help keep it to a minimum, but still.... They're ducks!
As for gently washing them, I dont advise it, the wax will help in some cases, but still a risky practice. Instead take a dry cloth and gently wipe off all the loose stuff and they'll be fine. Personally, I have hatched them purely caked in mud....
Just make sure your buyers are aware, most old seasoned ones do. It's the beginners that need to be informed of it, so there are no problems down the road

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