The Poultry Health & Hatching Forum

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Washing eggs before setting

Hi I know this has probably been a discussion before but I want to try this experiment out myself. Ok do you pre wash eggs before setting them , as birds in the wild don't and they get a good hatch rate .
So I have just filled my incubator with 96 quail eggs and this time I only gave a wipe with a wet ( not very wet ) cloth on the really dirty eggs . Will I get a good hatch rate or am I wasting my time . Whats everyone's position on this . Cheers

rich1
Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

I think there is a fine balance between washing them to much and hurting the outside coating that helps to protect the eggs and leaving eggs very filthy. I feel like if eggs are to dirty some of the bad bacteria on the outside of the eggs will get inside. Eggs are porous to an extent so both water and bad bacteria can get inside the egg I think. As for myself I would not wash or do anything to hatching eggs pretty much except for maybe really bad ones. And even the bad ones I think I would just carefully scrape the worst of it off with my fingernails or something and not use any water. Depending, but if they're to bad I would probably not even incubate them.

craigmartin
Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

If your birds have a clean environment to lay in there will be no need to wash them.

paddycrawford
Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

Mine do thanks paddy but don't clean them out everyday and its amazing you know sometimes when a bird pushes out an egg sometimes they crap a little or does your bird not crap . Amazing can I get some of them birds .

rich1
Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

I rarely see dirty eggs maybe its to do with breed I trow away eggs if they are dirty or if an egg breaks and the other eggs get soiled they all get tossed.

paddycrawford
Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

Paddy do you not eat the cracked or dirty eggs even if they're not good for hatching? I think having dirty nesting boxes and eggs has a lot to do with whether or not the ground is muddy and if the chickens roost in their nest box. If the ground is muddy then the chickens have muddy feet with which they walk all over the eggs. If they roost in the nest box then they usually poop in it during the night.

craigmartin
Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

No dirty ones go to dogs or I might boil them for chicks but thats even rare theses days ,over crowding is a big issue I only have one two hens to a pen and only one if they attempt to lay with each other,wet ground should be avoided at all cost it puts hens off they think its winter.

paddycrawford
Thursday, December 17th, 2020

In my one flock there is 25 layers that are for sure old enough to lay, and there are about 11 other hens that are just getting old enough to lay but I don't really think that are laying at all yet. From this flock I have been getting about 18-25 eggs daily an average of about 20-21 every day. Just a few days ago I think they almost all laid and we're almost at the shortest day of they year I can't hardly believe it. They have access to ground covered with grass that is not very muddy. But they're chicken yard is extremely muddy in some spots. They are hybrid hens to so that probably makes a difference.

craigmartin
Thursday, December 17th, 2020

Well my first question was about washing eggs which some have answered but everyone some replied about how I might not have kept a clean hen house but if they had read my question I did say its not a hen egg but it is quail eggs that I was setting and if you have kept quail they do mess there bedding quickly and I use woodchips as bedding . As in my hen setting eggs thats a different thing altogether.

rich1
Thursday, December 17th, 2020

No one said said you dont keep a clean hen house be it hens ducks quail or what ever they are all similar nesting area and eggs need to be kept clean as posible you can get away with more dirty on duck eggs I think ducks are healthier and their eggs less prone to bacterial infections.

paddycrawford
Friday, December 18th, 2020

How did the hatching rate go for you?

Joseph lawler
Thursday, January 21st, 2021


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