To Clean or Not to Clean Incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Redcatcher, May 22, 2010.

  1. Redcatcher

    Redcatcher Songster

    May 7, 2010
    At My Desk!
    I am having some very successful staggered hatches and now with the third set of eggs under way, the water trays are beginning to sour from the previous chicks' residue. I have not had a chance to clean and disinfect in between hatches. The present eggs are on the 14th day and are doing well. Is it worth chilling the eggs to disassemble and wash the trays or should I let it go? The eggs were partitioned from the chicks so they are clean, as well as the rest of the incubator. Only the water is souring.
  2. NancyinAlaska

    NancyinAlaska Songster

    Dec 26, 2009
    Willow Alaska
    I'd sure clean things out, it's not going to take THAT long, a mother hen would get up off the nest, and I'm betting in the 15 minutes it would take to clean the tray, every thing will be OK. All of that muck and mold and such can't be good.
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I just bought an LG as a hatcher for my staggered hatches, but I ran several in the same incubator this Spring. I cleaned out the incubator thoroughly after each hatch. Basically, I just very quickly emptied everything, scrubbed the incubator down, ran bleach over it, rinsed it thoroughly, dried it with a towel, and stuck it back together. The entire operation took less than 15 minutes, which is a reasonable amount of time to let the eggs hatch. I have not lost a single one to this procedure, though I have had some other problems I believe are related to the higher humidity during lockdown for the eggs that are not getting ready to hatch. They don't die during the lockdown, but have had a hard time hatching later I believe because their air cells are not developing properly.

    That is why I have the LG--it's working fine as a hatcher so far, and it means the other eggs don't have to go through lockdown before their time.

    But yes, I would definitely clean it out, and thoroughly. That bacteria load will eventually start killing your babies before they hatch.
  4. Redcatcher

    Redcatcher Songster

    May 7, 2010
    At My Desk!
    Thanks for the quick responses. I went ahead and cleaned the incubator and I feel better about it. I have $100 worth of eggs in there and chances are the water was only going to get worse. I have a LG too and getting nearly 100% hatch rate so I must be doing something right. The water was really worrying me though.
  5. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Quote:Good choice, thats what I would have done. With all your prep and hard work you don't want it wasted on something simple and easly preventable.

  6. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Quote:I am SOOO glad to read that you cleaned it. Not cleaning it could infect the eggs that in there!
  7. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    I am in total agreement with all the other responses.
    Should there be any infected material get into the incubator and nasty bacteria hanging about, the warm and moist conditions of the incubator will cause the bacteria to multiply very rapidly with the potential of infecting your other eggs and hatchlings.
    Cleanliness is always the best policy,

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