Yolk-covered eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by losttexan, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. losttexan

    losttexan Songster

    Jan 24, 2014
    Lubbock, TX
    OK - I need advice from the forum. I have had broodies before successfully, and I guess they simply spoiled me with how good and trouble-free they were. This broody is a black cochin, and it is her first time. The eggs have been set for three days. She is in a separate dog carrier with hay bedding, and gets off at least once a day (usually AM) to eat/drink/poop. She seems careful around her eggs and tends to them, but is not aggressive towards me or other chickens. Therein lies the problem. At various times, other chickens will wander into the carrier and lay additional eggs. If she is not there, they will lay them among the others. If she is there, they will plop down right next to her and lay. Funny thing - before this carrier was occupied, they had absolutle no ineterst in laying in it. Every night, I check and remove the new eggs. Last night, when I withdrew my hand, it was sticky and covered with yolk. I have long suspected I have at least one egg-eater in my flock (but that is another story). There was no egg on the cochin, so I don't think she is the culprit, but one of the setting eggs was eaten (I'm down to eleven). I cleaned out the soiled bedding, and reset eggs and momma, but I noticed that 4-5 of the eggs have a good amount of yolk on them. This is all long-winded background to the question: what to do about the yolk? I don't want to wash/clean them, as I don't want to remove the bloom, but yolk is great food for any opportunistic bacteria that come along, and I don't think being coated in growing bateria culture will be good for the developing chicks either. I know eggs are not soap bubbles, and can tolerate a good deal of the filth that occurs in nature/around animals, but I want to give these chicks a good shot. I know someone has likely encountered this same situation. All suggestions are welcome.

    BTW, broody is now enclosed with a wire cage that restricts other chickens from getting in the carrier. She has room to go out, food, and water, but cannot go too far. I will probably take her out by hand for dirt baths/exercise, but she is in solitary.
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Remove the dirty eggs and wash them under warm (not hot) running water. You can give them a good rub to remove the yolk. I've done this a few months ago when one of my hens accidentally broke an egg in her clutch and she had a 100% hatch, so the washing didn't do the embryos any harm.
  3. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    X2 with sumi. I would sooner lose a little bloom in a clean nest rather than risk dirty eggs developing bacteria in the nest. Good luck with them and hope you have a good hatch :frow
  4. Aphrael

    Aphrael Songster

    Jan 21, 2013
    x3. It is better to remove some of the bloom by washing than to leave that ick on there. I have washed broody eggs partway through incubation before and they turned out just fine.
  5. losttexan

    losttexan Songster

    Jan 24, 2014
    Lubbock, TX
    I must admit, that in a forum where I've seen folks disagree on the color of poop, I'm surprised to see people lining up universally on the same side. I thought for sure someone would disagree, but I will go with public opinion tonight and give them a wash. Thanks to all for taking the time to respond.

    edited by staff
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2014

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