Slight challenge with incubating goose eggsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
We're nearing the end of an incubation cycle with a clutch of goose eggs that I got from a neighbor's barn. All of the eggs were fresh....except one. Awhile back one of the eggs EXPLODED, and I don't mean it just popped. There is eggshell shrapnel embedded in the styrofoam of the incubator, and rotten egg residue covering many of the other eggs. And the smell......well, let's just say I'd rather snuggle up to a water buffalo than smell that again.
Not wanting to take the eggs out of the incubator, I cleaned it out as best I could and then let it continue incubating. Oh, and my wife moved it out to the shed outside, as it had been in our office...the kids still think the baby had a REALLY stinky diaper that day....Major loss of husband points. Anyway, soon there were maggots in the incubator, then flies, and now the eggs should be ready to hatch any day, and I don't know what to do. The incubator needs a severe cleaning SOMETHING FIERCE, but I can't decide if it would be better to let the baby geese (if I get any, which at this point, I'm not sure is a given) stay in the smelly confines of the incubator for a few days, or take them out right away and move them somewhere cleaner.
What do you suggest?
-- chuck (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 05, 2002
Prepare a weak disinfecting solution by adding 10 drops of common household bleach (5.25% concentration) to 1 quart of water. Do not use bleach that contains a cleansing agent. Make sure your solution is warmer than your egg temps by 5-10 degrees, spray down everything, dump out all the fluid and maggots, then reset your water level with the same solution of bleach/water. Hopefully this will prevent any contamination of your hatchlings
-- BC (email@example.com), May 05, 2002.
Can the eggs be gently moved to thick towels and covered? After all, Mom surely leaves the nest briefly from time to time, and covering them briefly with a towel (not to heavy a cover: they need oxygen too) will help keep them warm for a bit.
-- Terri (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 05, 2002.
If you imitate a hen setting with an incubator you will let the eggs cool for about 30 minutes each day as hens get off the nest about that long every day to eat and drink.Also if you're trying to hatch waterfowl eggs in a nest off the ground or in an incubator you usually need extra moisture.A trick I learned from my grandmother was to get a pan of warm [90 degrees] water and place the waterfowl eggs in the water for several minutes about 3 days before their hatch date this would let the egg soak up a little moisture and make the chick have a easier time pipping the egg.Do not rub the egg though.
-- Gary (email@example.com), May 06, 2002.
It certainly wouldn't hurt to take the eggs out, wrap them up in a towel and do a fast cleaning job on the incubator. If it's one of the foam jobs I'd just do the base and keep the unit top set to the side and running all the time you were working so the temperature is held as steady as you can. Lift the top straight up and over to the side and lower it, keeping the warm air "cupped" inside. You DON'T want to get things back together and then try and regulate the temperature again, so that's why I say don't mess with the top of it-- you might jar your setting. Don't wash the eggs at all. I think you'd do more damage than not at this point. However, don't think all is lost just because of the egg, either: I've smelled some setting ducks that would KNOCK YOU OVER when they've been sitting on eggs that were bad---and they proceed to hatch 8 ducklings from that same filthy nest and their own filthy feathers! :) Good luck! Honk, honk!
-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 06, 2002.
Firstly Chuck a good book on incubating. Then some dialog with the people who do this for a living. You know where! LOL TPC. It is customary to candle the eggs early on to determine fertility. At this point I would be tossing the whole batch, disinfecting and starting over. Rats. That is the pits! Better luck next time. LQ
-- Little Quacker in OR (email@example.com), May 06, 2002.
Waterfowl eggs are designed and/or evolved to cope with periods of coolness and with getting damp. As others said above, brooding mother gets off, goes and gets some food, perhaps has a brief swim (might even need to swim to get her food), shakes herself off, then hops back on the nest. Her damp feathers help raise humidity and soften the shell of the egg. The eggs are alive - they're generating their own heat. Maybe not enough to brood themselves, but enough to mean they only lose heat slowly. Taking the eggs out for a few minutes, cleaning the brooder and cleaning the worst of the gunk off the eggs with a warm damp cloth, will more likely help than harm. I've even heard of people misting eggs with a fine spray of warm water, in addition to keeping a tray of water in the brooder for humidity.
-- Don Armstrong (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 08, 2002.