Not feeling the "good vibes" with this hatch...2 questions

Shannon's Chix

Songster
10 Years
Apr 30, 2009
855
4
141
N.E. Florida
My first hatch several weeks ago came out 75% hatch rate. My eggs were very clean (from my flock) and I had no issues during incubation and pips started almost immediately after lockdown.

I am now incubating shipped eggs for the first time and I am worried about them. I have done everything the same in my octagon eco as my first hatch except I may have locked down a half a day early. Could this cause problems?

Also, the shipped eggs were dirty...not filthy but pretty dirty. I got off what I could only with a light rub and set them. Could this cause problems as well?

Tomorrow is day 21 and no pips, cracks, peeps, rocks...nothing. And I paid a good amount for them.

Any advice much appreciated. I haven't given up hope yet but I'm pretty sad as my last hatch was pretty good...
 

suburbanminifarm

Songster
10 Years
Jul 29, 2009
537
18
131
N.San Diego County
I have come to the realization that cleaning shipped eggs is a MUST. I just do not ever have a dirty egg survive all the way thru incubation. Soooo... I am washing in hot water from now on on those expensive shipped eggs. I don't think 1/2 day early lockdown will hurt a thing. Oh, and remember that on shipped eggs, you are doing fantastic if you get 50% hatch!
 

tnchickenut

It's all about the Dels!
9 Years
10 Years
Jan 24, 2010
2,716
32
181
Englewood, TN
Shipped eggs are always a risk. They get shaked.. they get dropped (they DO get dropped)... they may get froze... they may even get xrayed.

All that said, they also may be older than 7 days when they were shipped. Never can be too sure.

And that said, the poo is only a issue because it increases the chances of harmful bacteria getting into the shell. So, the poo may be A issue... probrably not your ONLY issue. Also, the poo may not be a issue at all. From what I gather, it increases the risk of unhealthy chicks being hatched. (note: I didn't say it will DEFINATELY cause unhealthy chicks at hatch)

Also... it being the end of a hard winter for most places. The seller may have had some fertility issues and not be aware of it. (or maybe they did) The extreme cold effects parent birds fertility. So does extreme heat.

There are alot of factors. Without more info... I couldn't tell you exactly or even narrow it down for you.
 

Shannon's Chix

Songster
10 Years
Apr 30, 2009
855
4
141
N.E. Florida
Quote:
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thanks for the reply...i didn't read much about setting "dirty" eggs but remembered seeing pics of set eggs that seemed pretty dirty to me. Another question about washing, I thought I heard wash in cooler water??? I don't remember...
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tnchickenut

It's all about the Dels!
9 Years
10 Years
Jan 24, 2010
2,716
32
181
Englewood, TN
NEVER WASH IN COOLER WATER...

the cold causes the egg to "retract" and suck in all the bacteria. warm water will "expand" the egg and push out bacteria.

That said. It is recommended not to wash hatching eggs. You will wash off the "bloom" which is the protective skin that mother nature put there to keep the baby safe from bacteria and viruses.
 

Germaine_11.20

Songster
10 Years
Jun 6, 2009
4,497
24
221
Idaho
I will wash eggs if they are filthy. There is no way it is going in my incubator like that. However I wash in water that is warmer than the egg, never ever cold water.

I like to get the water warm and get my hand wet with it then I wet the egg and hold it while I continue with the warm water in the hand (I am switching hands back and forth so the egg doesn't get chilled.) After about 15 seconds most of the dirt comes off. I also do this very gently. Then gently dry or air dry.

If they aren't too dirty I just gently rub with a clean dry cloth to get any loose coop matter off.
 

atarunomiko

Chicken no Miko
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
47
1
22
Los Angeles
There was a useful article about washing eggs from cindasbluejerseygiants.com - sorry there are no pictures, the site seems to be defunct and so the only way I could get this article again was through an internet archive site that doesn't save pictures, only text. But at least it's better than nothing. Disclaimer: this was written by Cinda Brent, not me.


WASHING HATCHING EGGS

Way down yonder where the green grass grows is a wishy-washy washer woman.... oh, never mind!

We have experimented within our own facility for over a year now in how to properly wash hatching eggs. Couple that with another supposed no-no of the hatching world, storing eggs, and you get a wonderful system that has increased the number of hatchable eggs we could set in our incubators, increased our hatch rate, and has made our incubators and egg-handling equipment cleaner overall.

Rule #1: Water that is the same temperature or cooler than the egg will allow bacteria to permeate the pores in the eggshell and "let bacteria in". Water that is warmer will NOT do this.

If zoos and other facilities that work with endangered species wash their hatching eggs to promote higher hatch rates and higher numbers of hatchable eggs, why not the poultry producer?

I have heard of poultry fanciers who swear by watering down their coops with a garden hose daily to "keep them bacteria-free", but let's face this fact: water + bacteria + heat = bacteria breeding ground. So then, for the same reason that watering your coop will not make it "clean", just watering your hatching eggs alone will not make them clean.

Two choices I have used: TekTrol or Betadine. I prefer the Betadine because it allows me to see better what is going on.

Equipment needed to wash:
Protective gloves for yourself, we like the disposables, vinyl or nitrile is best. Gloves that fit snug will work better than ones that are too little or too big.
A shoe-box sized plastic tote
Betadine disinfectant
Several papertowel thicknesses to set washed eggs on
Thermometer that can read 100-120 degree F temperatures (at least at first, you'll learn what these temps feel like in time)
Unwashed but freshly laid hatching eggs
Sink with hot water available
Timer

Always start by putting protective gloves on when working with poultry, eggs, or cleaning chemicals.

Use your shoe-box tote and thermometer to fill the tote about 2-3" full of water that is approximately 100-110 degrees F. (See left photo below)



Add enough Betadine so that the water looks like weak tea. Middle photo shows just-added Betadine, photo on Right shows a good Betadine solution.

Immerse your hatching eggs in the tote. If you need to wash more eggs than you can put in the tote, only do a few at a time.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The smaller the egg, the more heat/cold sensitive it is. If working with quail eggs, start with just a few (about 6-12) and work quickly. Don't answer the phone or get distracted. Larger eggs, such as chicken eggs, are not as heat-sensitive. I usually wash about 12-14 chicken eggs at one time. Larger eggs can be left in the solution longer.



If you are working with quail eggs, you will want to put the eggs in, set your rinse water temp at about 115-120 degrees F, and start immediately cleansing and rinsing the eggs. For pheasant or bantam sized eggs, wait 1-2 minutes, for chicken eggs wait 1-3 minutes, for turkey eggs wait 1-3 minutes.

After waiting a short period of time (or immediately after you have immersed all eggs if washing quail eggs) turn on the hot water for rinsing, again at about 115-120 degrees F. Choose the cleanest appearing egg, take it from the Betadine solution and rinse it thoroughly, rubbing as little as possible except for any soiled areas. Work quickly and when you feel the egg is well rinsed, set it aside on layers of paper towel or on a clean terrycloth towel to drain.

DO NOT move eggs from one place to another on the paper towels, or reuse the paper towels. Always clean and disinfect the area beneath the towels before and after you are finished washing eggs. DO NOT crowd too many eggs onto one paper towel. A cloth towel may be used instead of paper towels, if desired. You may wish to have several layers of any type of absorbant towel to avoid leaving the eggs in a pool of water.

Keep in mind that you want to work as quickly as possible, and select your next cleanest egg and repeat the rinsing/cleansing process.

When you are finished with a tote's worth of eggs, discard the wash water, and rinse your tote. Repeat and refill tote if you have a lot of eggs to wash. Our egg wash totes are run through the dishwasher frequently to keep them as clean as possible. Other equipment, such as gathering baskets, should also be cleaned between uses.

We have found that even the dirtiest eggs can have increased hatchability by washing. We have successfully hatched eggs that have been soiled by:
Having been immersed in muddy water after a rain
Have been totally covered in mud or bird feces
Have been soiled with yolk from a broken egg

On the most soiled eggs, such as above, our hatch rate was a whopping 60%!!!! I would have otherwise thrown those eggs away, my first batch of very-soiled eggs were set after a period of several-days rain in the spring. I set 50 eggs and got 30 chicks that hatched, were healthy as can be, and are now members of my breeder flock!!! Isn't that a wonderful surprise?

After your eggs have dried, you can put them into flats for storage/incubation. Marking the date and flock or type of egg, if desired, may be done before or after washing with a pencil. If your incubator allows eggs to rest upright, always place them pointy-end down and write your date info on the round end of the egg, so that you can quickly glance and tell which date the egg was laid/gathered. You may also wish to take notes such as the weather on a day, if it was especially hot or cold, muddy, if the birds had been upset, etc. You never know when you might find an interesting trend in your flock!

If you are using the eggs for a school hatching project or are hand-turning, you may wish to put an X on one side of the egg (not the end, a side) and an O on the other. For hand-turning, you don't have to necessarily turn the egg 180 degrees, only about 30 degrees will work fine. That is what the hen does.....it will work well and you can get through more quickly that way. Kids may like to make chicken noises while they do this just for fun. Brrrrrrrrroooooooock......
(Hey, you're only a kid once, if you do this as an adult people will begin to wonder about you!)

Eggs can be stored in a rather warm refrigerator, make sure you always use a thermometer in the center of the fridge. It should read between 50-55 degrees, no colder. A wine cooler works well, as wine is not chilled as cool as food or other beverages. You can pick up a small wine cooler for about $100 from Lowes or Home Depot or the like, some big Wal-Mart stores have them, too. Turn the wine racks upside down and store eggs in flats. Eggs can be held with no decrease in hatchability for at least 7-10 days after they were laid. We have successfully hatched eggs as old as three-four weeks, and even some that we had forgotten about and the age was unknown!

Before hatching, bring the eggs out and let them get up to room temperature. Your incubator should also be up to temperature before you place eggs in it, bring it up to temp at least 24 hours before adding eggs.

The eggs may appear to "sweat" as they come up to temp, this is normal and don't let it scare you. If it is extremely warm and you are concerned about them getting too warm too quickly, you can set the eggs inside an ice chest with the lid propped open. This will allow the eggs to very slowly come up to temperature. We like this method!

Another fun method is to use a water weasel - the tube-like water-balloon looking toy that kids love to throw and catch, to put your thermometer inside and place in your incubator. (This gives you an idea of what the temperature would be "inside the egg". It's a neat concept and can help you pinpoint incubator problems. Sometimes the styrofoam incubators are known to have hot/cold spots, it is good to know what area the eggs that hatched were in if you get a poor hatch to help troubleshoot your problems. Also if you are hand-turning, try to limit the time you have the incubator lid off to 2 minutes for large eggs or 1 minute for quail eggs. Check and double-check that you have the lid on properly and completely after you turn eggs. If a child is turning the eggs, have an adult or teacher double-check as well. If you only turn a portion of the eggs before you time-out, wait about 2 hours before trying again. If doing a school project, you may want to start turning early in the morning so if you need to try again, your class won't be going home before they get another chance!

So how do I know all of this? I like to experiment. I consider myself to be someone who thinks "outside the box". I come up with unique solutions for problems life hands me. If life hands me lemons, I don't make lemonaide, I make a lemon icebox pie, use them to baste grilled fish, or to keep my fresh-cut apples from turning brown.

I hope that others can find this information useful.

Happy Hatching!!!
 

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