To wash, or not to wash, THAT is the question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by HHandbasket, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    When setting eggs to hatch, we have always been told not to wash them.

    When setting shipped eggs, well, it's a gamble anyway. I have ordered shipped eggs now 4 times, and none have ever hatched or made it past days 7-8.

    I got some shipped eggs on September 1st, and some of them were broken. I washed THOROUGHLY the group of eggs that got goo on them from the broken ones and set them anyway. Of all the eggs that came in this shipment (24), 4 were washed. Only 3 eggs are remaining viable at this time 11 days into the incubation, and those 3 are eggs I washed. Not a single one of the unwashed eggs developed past day 5.

    Today is day 11, and these 3 washed eggs have growing, moving chicks inside them.

    I can, therefore, only conclude that washing eggs before setting them ain't such a bad thing after all.

    Any other thoughts on this?
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  2. Kavellion

    Kavellion Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2011
    Drummond, OK
    Do you always do just one breed? I noticed the BCM's I get in the mail were kinda low in fertility. One time I got spitz crosses and all of them hatched. Have some gamefowl and those look really high in fertiles> So was wondering if certain breeds ship better than others?
  3. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Nope, I've bought eggs for several breeds.

    The fertility is good, and most of them start to develop, but they always quit by day 10-12 at the latest. Right now, the 3 that I have in the bator that are good... this is the longest I've ever gotten shipped eggs to survive except for one time before when I had 1 actually make it to lockdown, but it died before it pipped. I let it go to 26 days, and when I opened it up, the chick had obviously been dead for a long time.

    But I do believe that whether I get shipped eggs or buy local hatching eggs in the future, I'm going to wash them first to see what happens. These were washed, and this is the longest I've gotten more than 1 to survive. If they hatch, then I'm DEFINITELY washing prior to setting in the future.

    Just wanted to find out what other folks' experiences were regarding washing of hatching eggs prior to setting them.
  4. Time-Out

    Time-Out Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    The Peak District, UK
    I wash the eggs [​IMG]

    I set from several breeders at once, so I wouldn't want to cross-contaminate. You might have one breeder's hens that are immune to a bacteria the others aren't. Besides, the bottle says "Improves hatchability".

    This is only my second set of eggs I'm incubating, but I can say for certain that I didn't get one bacterial ring in my first batch. The ones that didn't hatch had been scrambled in the post so badly the yolk had exploded.
  5. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    I don't wash but I thoroughly clean:) Never had issues with them not growing because of it. I have put dirty eggs in bator from shipped eggs and it just grosses me out. So now I clean them all....
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I wash mine under warm running water with soap then sanitize them. Dry then set.
  7. Bat Cave Silkies

    Bat Cave Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 11, 2010
    Bat Cave, NC
    I don't wash......I do pick/scrape off as much dried matter as possible

    I place the eggs to be incubated in a large, plastic, open egg holder (like you buy at Poultry Supply stores) and spritz them well with Oxine......once they're dry, they go in the bator. I've noticed no harm from this practice, but I do get 100%hatch rates...
  8. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Generally unwashed eggs should hatch fine but if you want to get the very best hatch rates you need to correctly wash an disinfect both the eggs an the incubator.
  9. Bantam Username

    Bantam Username Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    Now see, I thought washing the eggs removes their natural protective coating. I was looking at some silver quail d'anver eggs on ebay recently and they were advertised as washed and sterilized so I thought "won't be buying those then!", as so many people have said that you MUST NOT wash your eggs. Now I'm confused! [​IMG]
  10. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

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