“I have always heard not to incubate eggs that still have manure on them. What is the best way to clean an egg before incubating it? Can you clean them with water or is there something on the market that will wash the egg but not remove the protective barrier? Please help. Thanks,” ~ Angela Reynolds Lewisburg, WV
Angela, thanks for the question.
It is important that the eggs you select for incubation be in the best possible condition.
For this reason, you should not incubate eggs that have manure on them.
You definitely do not want to clean the eggs with water because it will remove the protective bloom.
To the best of my knowledge there is nothing on the market that will both clean the egg while leaving the bloom intact.
If the egg must be cleaned, try to brush any foreign particles away with your finger nail. If that doesn’t work, use a very fine grit sandpaper to remove only the manure or dirt.
Handle the egg as little as possible to avoid wearing away the bloom. Remember that the bloom is there to protect the growing chick and if it is compromised, the life of the chick will be also.
The best thing to do is to take preventative measures to keep the eggs clean in the first place.
Collect eggs often, 3 or 4 times a day.
Keep the nest boxes very clean.
Encourage the hens to use the nest boxes rather than laying on the ground or some other place where they are likely to get soiled.
Keep the inside of the coop very clean so that manure is not on the hen’s feet when the get into the nest box.
If mud is a problem, consider using a bedding material inside and around the outside of the coop that will provide excellent drainage and thereby keep to a minimum the amount of mud being brought into the coop.
I hope this is of help Angela, best of luck to you.