Marking eggs . . . . Sharpie vs Pencil

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by John-1948, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. Been watching this a lot, plus, have been buying quite few eggs online.

    all are marked with pencil . .. any reason a Sharpie Magic Marker is not used ??
    alcohol from the marker seeping into the egg??

    Just wondering
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Some people do use sharpies I have read. I prefer pencil because I worry about the chemicals seeping into the egg.
  3. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2012
    I agree. Just like I wouldn't repair an eggshell with fingernail polish because of those chemicals, I wouldn't use a sharpie for the same reason.

    Keep in mind that eggs are very porous, even though we don't think so. So it is FAR too likely that the chemicals inside of a sharpie could be absorbed inside and kill the embryo, cause "birth defects" (hatch defects?), or just simply kill a few extra brain cells than it probably should before the chick hatches. Adult humans have been known to use sharpies as "inhalants" for getting high - and we know how THAT can kill brain cells (although I think those adults who do it are already missing more than their share of brain cells). So why risk it with such a tiny life form that you DON'T want to kill?

    Many people don't want to take that chance. Myself included. Pencils are just graphite, and they aren't liquid at all. That's why it simply rubs off when you erase it, like dirt, and they are SO much safer.
  4. yep ... that just confirms my suspicions. Even when we use the markers,
    we can smell the chemical evaporating from the marks.
    I just didn't think the shell was that porous . . . but when you think about it,
    it really is.
    I will get some extra soft #2 or #1 pencils next time to the store.

    thanks !!
  5. Deputy Chicken

    Deputy Chicken Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 8, 2013
    I use crayola crayons. i figure they are nontoxic so i would assume they wont seep anything dangerous into the egg
  6. cmfarm

    cmfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2010
    Elgin, TX
    That's what I use too. I also melt them down for cracks on the eggs too.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I personally don’t have an issue using Sharpies but if you do, simply don’t use them. If you are concerned enough to ask, you probably shouldn’t use one. There are alternatives.

    If you use a pencil, us a soft-leaded pencil, not a hard one. The difference is in the clay used. Graphite by itself is too soft to hold together so they mix it with clay. The soft-leaded ones, #1 being best but a #2 OK, will leave a much darker mark than a hard-leaded one. They’ll all wear off some, especially under a broody, and can be hard to see. The harder “lead” can damage the shell too if you are not careful and use the point. When I was a kid I’d take a soft pencil, turn it sideways (not using the point) and rub a wide band around an egg, and put that under a broody. I never had any problem with those bands being hard to see.

    The wax in the crayons will plug the pores in the egg shell but as long as you don’t go overboard it should not cause a problem.
  8. KrazyChromatics

    KrazyChromatics Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2013
    Northern NY
    i use a sharpie on all my eggs, i usually have decent hatch rates, and out of the few hundred ive only have 2 with birth defects, and that was before i even marked my eggs

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