Shipped Eggs Arrived - A few questions about condition .... 1st time!!


Sep 29, 2011
Like so many other here I received an incubator for Xmas (Yeah!!!) I set it up and bought some Silkie eggs. Well they just arrived yesterday and are resting before I set them later today.

1.Many of my eggs are lightly soiled .... various smears of bedding and poop ... in varying levels. I have read that you are not supposed to wash the eggs but should I try to clean them up at all??

2. I also now see what people are talking about porous eggs... Should I not set these?? Of course the porous eggs are clean

3. Candling - I haven't been able to candle the eggs yet as my flashlight is dead... What exactly am I looking for at this point?? Am I just looking at the air sac?? And what exactly am I supposed to see. Also I know you are only supposed to candle on day 10ish and day 18 before lockdown. How do people so this quickly so that the eggs do not get cold??? Do you take them out 1 by 1 closing the bator in between??? or do you just hold the light up to the egg in the turner???

I really dont want to mess this up!!! Thanks for your help.
You are nearly answering all your own questions which tells me that you have read up on it but lack the confidence.

1. Yes, rest the eggs, but turn to the left then turn to the right at least twice a day, this allows the air sac to get to the top before incubation. In the post they are shaken about considerably you see. I normally rest them for 2 days just to make sure they are settled enough.
2. If they are not heavily soiled you can place them into your incubator and start the process. Remember to count day one starting the next day, as if you think about it ,a child is not a year old until the 12 months are up. Put eggs in for example on Tuesday, then day 1 would be Wednesday.

3. Do not panic regarding the eggs getting cold, as long as the core is warm, the centre part ,such as the heart you, are okay to look at the eggs for 10 minutes. After all what does the hen outside do when she comes off the eggs? She has an enormous poo, stretches her legs, stops for a drink and snack and then considers the idea of going back to the eggs. That can be 15 mins later. Some breeders will open the incubator for 5 mins a day to strenghten the chicks inside the shell as if they are under a broody.

4. I do consider that pourous eggs are not fertile due to the quality of the shell, this is due to the hen not picking up enough protein and vitamins that also makes the shell besides calcium. Some hens just do not absorb enough. I just boost the vitamins when I need to incubate my eggs and yet on this merit I have had the odd pourous egg hatch to my surprise.

5. I just candle the eggs by using the light underneath them whilst they are in the incubator. But then my incubators hold 300 eggs in each one. It would take forever to do each egg seperately.

I hope this helps. Good luck

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Lightly soiled is fine. I would set them as is.
The pourous one may or may not develop, nothing you can do about it, so set them anyway.
You can candle before you set them to see if there are any bubble in the air sac, but either way I would set them all anyway, just keep note of the eggs that have bubbles.

Don't over think candeling. A hen will get up off the eggs at least once a day to eat and go potty, during that time the eggs will cool down. So when I candle I take them out one at a time, usually at night because it is the easiest cause its dark. I look at them with a flashlight, make notes and put them back. No big deal.

I usually candle at day 7 because I set eggs every week on Saturday, so the incubator is open anyway. Then I candle on day 14, then when I move them to the hatcher on day 18. Other than that I leave them alone.

I don't wash eggs, but if I can scrape off anything I will. If their really nasty I throw them out.

I always set porous eggs. They can and will hatch. Just watch them closely.

I use a LED flashlight. The small ones. I cup my hand and slowly move the eggs over the hole. At this stage look for cracks and air cells. An intact air cell will be at the larger end. Not moving. A cell thats loose, will float around freely. These can be set in the incubator in a position that holds the air cell in the larger end. Some ppl use cartons to set them in.

I candle on day 5. You can see clearly "spider-web" like veins. I move the lid over and do this slowly. A hen will leave the nest for a long time. Just be careful and don't drop an egg. If you get in a hurry, its easy to do. Just take your time. You'll get faster as you get more practice.
Good luck.
It would be nice of sellers to let buyers know that their eggs are dirty and porous. I have gotten few with every order. Some people say they hatch but mine made it to lockdown and the dirty ones didn't hatch. Just makes you wonder. hens don't lay many dirty/porous eggs, so it just annoys me. Good luck with your hatch!
It sounds like you know what you are doing, just one last thing. Don't forget to wash your hands before handling the eggs. You don't want to transfer any skin oils or chemicals to them from your hands. Oils can clog the pores in the egg shell.

Good luck............I've discovered to my dismay, that incubating/hatching eggs is highly addictive!

Thank you all for the replies. I don't know how I am going to get anything done for the next 3 weeks. I had a long to do list for today and I've spent most of the day staring at my eggs, researching incubating on the web and well supervising free play in the yard for my chickens.

I used some very fine sandpaper and rubbed off the soiled eggs.... I candled them and don't see any visible cracks. I did notice on one that there is a very very small chip or hole.... Not sure what to call it. Should I be worried about that. It is very small.... it has not punctured the membrane.

Thanks again for your help!
Okay I just set them!

I candled them before I put them in and I realized that the one with the "chip" is the porous egg... When that egg is candled it looks like Saturn .... A bright band around the middle of the egg. I left the egg be for now..... But I did put it in the front of the bator away from the other eggs
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