QMy hatching has been quite good, but I had a rotten egg which burst and took a long time to clear up. Should I be worried about the contamination of other eggs?
VR SAYS: The short answer is yes. Virkon is a good disinfectant, but it needs to be in touch with the eggs for 10 minutes to be sure all pathogens are controlled. If you use water warmer than the egg then the shell membrane expands and blocks the pores in the shell. When you are candling eggs at the second week of incubation, how are you going to know if the chicks are still alive? If you see, instead of a spidery web of blood vessels a complete circle of blood vessels, this one’s development has been kicked off by a hen brooding it, but it then stopped when the temperature dropped at egg collection, so it has died. The eggs that have a solid area at the pointed end of the egg and the airspace at the top one third, with a very well-defined line between the two, are growing well. If this line is fuzzy, the embryo has died for some reason, which may be an E. coli infection from its mother — a common cause of ‘dead in shell’. This egg should be discarded. If you are not sure, leave it in, but mark it and check that it has not hatched with the others. Do not break it open as lots of pathogenic bacteria will be released. If the parent stock is healthy and has been fed on a breeder ration, the embryo has a greater chance of being healthy and strong as well.