Should Incubated Eggs Covered In Yoke Be Cleaned?


5 Years
Sep 22, 2015
Hello Everyone! I sure hope someone can help me, because I really don't know what to do. I didn't even know how to title my post! We've had a hen sitting on some eggs for about two weeks. I just realized that sometime earlier today our stupid dog managed to get in the coop and eat 3 of the eggs :( There were 2 eggs left, but no sign of mom. We candled them and there are live chicks in them. We put them in the incubator, but they are covered in dried yoke from the eggs that were eaten. Do you think they will be ok? Should we try to clean them or leave them be? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm heart broken and so upset with our dog. I wasn't expecting to have to deal with something like this. Thank you all.
Hi, welcome to BYC! :frow

So sorry to hear about your issue. :(

Really tough call... If it's already dried on I would probably flake off any that was thick & crusty enough and either leave it alone or sand paper it if dried on but too thick. I wouldn't personally risk water.... but I TRULY don't know.

Mama may realize her nest has been raided and not return. But she could return to sitting still... In which case you could let her sit on fake or dummy eggs until hatch and then tuck the chicks back under her if you like.

So for you and your mama's loss. :(
Hope you others come along well. :fl
The yoke is gooped on with other debris stuck to it. It was already dry when I found them. I could try to pick at it a little, but I'm worried I might crack the shell. If I leave it will it put the unhatched chicks at risk? Is the natural bloom on the egg shell enough to protect the chicks from the yuck on the outside of the egg? Which risk do you think is greater, cleaning them off or leaving them alone?
I like the idea of putting the dummy eggs under the hen. She is back in her nest tonight, so I just might try that.
I think either way there is a big bacterial risk. I incubated some shipped eggs. Some had broken and got yolk on the rest. I wiped them off with a lightly damp paper towel wrung out really well and managed to hatch a few and and none showed signs of bacterial intrusion.
I am sorry to hear about your loss. I would definatly try to get as much off as you can without damaging the eggs. I wouldn't risk water. I'm not sure sandpaper is a good idea either. I would just try to get as much as you can off with your fingernails.Good luck.
Thank you for the advice everyone. I'm going to try to see if I can gently pick some more of it off. It is about a week until they are supposed to hatch. I'll let y'all know the outcome.
Hello Everyone. Just wanted to let you know that out of the two dirty eggs one successfully hatched! The other unfortunately died in the egg, but I am so happy that one made it. Thanks again everyone for your advice.

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