You are here

Washing of hatching eggs

The washing of hatching eggs is not recommended although many producers think that visual cleanliness will increase their chances of incubation success. It is more important to stress providing good nesting facilities and frequent egg collection to reduce egg contamination. Cleaning of eggs will then become unnecessary.

The reason that washing is harmful is that washing aides bacteria to penetrate the egg shell through the small egg shell pores. The egg has many natural defenses to prevent the bacteria from moving through the shell. Washing removes the egg shell's natural defenses against bacterial entry, and water provides an environment that allows the organisms to literally swim through the shell pores. When this occurs, the egg is overwhelmed by more bacteria than it can destroy and egg contamination results. Several washing aids and antibiotics have been tested to destroy the bacteria but have not consistently improved egg hatchability.

If dirty eggs must be used for hatching, it is recommended that they be incubated in an incubator separate from the clean eggs. This will prevent contamination of clean eggs and chicks if the dirty eggs explode and during hatching.

Refer to Care and Incubation of Hatching Eggs for hatching egg care information.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

News

A man wearing a baseball caps squats down inside a poultry house, holding a black camera. Feeders line the floor in rows, small, yellow chicks feed nearby, and the house stretches behind him in the distance.
Filed Under: Livestock, Poultry January 11, 2019

In a state where temperatures exceed 90 degrees more than 100 days a year, heat control in poultry houses is a very important consideration for Mississippi's biggest agricultural industry.

A close-up of a commercial chicken with white feathers is shown in the right three-quarters of the foreground with other chickens blurred in the background.
Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Poultry December 18, 2018

Poultry producers got off to a robust start in 2018, which helped the industry end the year strong.

A woman holds a brown and white chicken while a young girl looks on.
Filed Under: Poultry June 1, 2018

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- More than a million backyard chicken flocks provide Americans with eggs, meat or companionship, a trend Mississippians embrace, but hobby farmers must learn proper care to keep them healthy.

A close up of white eggs stacked in a bowl with other white eggs.
Filed Under: Poultry April 13, 2018

RAYMOND, Miss. -- With low feed prices and healthy demand for broilers and eggs, the Mississippi poultry industry is poised for another productive year.

An illustration depicts a large yellow chick with a graph showing the number of Salmonella outbreaks since 2000 and includes text instructions to wash hands after handling backyard poultry.
Filed Under: Youth Poultry, Agriculture, Livestock, Poultry March 30, 2018

Baby chickens are so cute and cuddly that few people can resist holding them. Unfortunately, as public interest in raising backyard birds has grown so has the number of Salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. (Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Watch

Farmweek, Entire Show, August 28, 2015
Farmweek

Season 39 Show #08

Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 7:00pm

Listen

Contact Your County Office

Your Extension Experts

Assistant Professor
Extension Professor
Extension Instructor