Washing eggs. Does it have an effect on the embroyo??

Markw84

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I literally just run them under tap water. Luke warm and rub off all the slimy film.

Is there evidence that fluoride, pH, etc causes harm to the egg? Would love to know more. Even if it’s a theory.

Thanks.
Don't want to hijack this thread. I love it and look forward to your updates. So the short version - yes. I am seeing many examples now that point to water chemistry effecting the initial setting of the embryo and also a very strong connection to split scutes.
 

Yvonne G

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Many, many years ago when I was breeding ducks, I learned that the mucous deposited on the egg by the mother is a protective layer and should not be washed off. I have carried this knowledge forward to apply it to tortoise eggs.
 

shellfreak

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Don't want to hijack this thread. I love it and look forward to your updates. So the short version - yes. I am seeing many examples now that point to water chemistry effecting the initial setting of the embryo and also a very strong connection to split scutes.
Please email me - [email protected]. I want to talk in more detail. I find this interesting.
 

shellfreak

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Many, many years ago when I was breeding ducks, I learned that the mucous deposited on the egg by the mother is a protective layer and should not be washed off. I have carried this knowledge forward to apply it to tortoise eggs.
Very interesting. I have been doing my own personal data collection on just this. Taking the film off bs leaving it on. my theory regarding the film is that it prevents bacteria from permeating the egg membrane, which is why the egg isn’t permeable for the first few days. I just thought that once the “substrate” soaked up the film, the egg then was able to start to chalk. Once chalked, the egg then becomes permeable to allow gases to flow through, specifically oxygen.

My data has been that if I remove the film completely, my eggs chalk a lot quicker compared to the ones I just dug up and placed in the incubator.

But it’s all theory to me. I’ve only been collecting data for less than a year. My hatch rate hasn’t changed, just my chalking time has increased. Not sure if that is directly related to the film or not. I guess I’m just playing with Mother Nature. [emoji51]
 

Markw84

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Many, many years ago when I was breeding ducks, I learned that the mucous deposited on the egg by the mother is a protective layer and should not be washed off. I have carried this knowledge forward to apply it to tortoise eggs.

Very interesting. I have been doing my own personal data collection on just this. Taking the film off bs leaving it on. my theory regarding the film is that it prevents bacteria from permeating the egg membrane, which is why the egg isn’t permeable for the first few days. I just thought that once the “substrate” soaked up the film, the egg then was able to start to chalk. Once chalked, the egg then becomes permeable to allow gases to flow through, specifically oxygen.

My data has been that if I remove the film completely, my eggs chalk a lot quicker compared to the ones I just dug up and placed in the incubator.

But it’s all theory to me. I’ve only been collecting data for less than a year. My hatch rate hasn’t changed, just my chalking time has increased. Not sure if that is directly related to the film or not. I guess I’m just playing with Mother Nature. [emoji51]
@Yvonne G Can we break this into a separate thread? I would personally love to keep this one with updated candling through hatching with as little digression as possible. It is @shellfreak 's thread, So his call, but this discussion on washing and water contact could get distracting, yet I think quite valuable???? Maybe post #11, then post #13 to here on a separate thread?
 

NorCal tortoise guy

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I have just started getting eggs In the last couple of years so it is all new to me

But last year I had a clutch that was laid at a very muddy time and In my ignorance I left the eggs muddy and very few hatched

So the next clutch I washed with tap water and very few of them developed and hatched

After that I have been only just wiping off any exsess dirt and have had much better luck

Sorry for my rambling it's just all so interesting to me
 

shellfreak

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Would be interesting to hear from members who are high volume breeders like Chris Leone
 

HermanniChris

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This is definitely an interesting topic. For many years I washed off eggs. The reason? I honestly can’t say other than maybe a little OCD popping through. My hatch rate for many species across the board was good but there were certainly times when something went wrong in development (both early and later on) that really lacked an explanation. I never gave it too much thought. In recent years, I’ve stopped washing eggs off and still have very good success rates. I’ve mainly stopped in an attempt at saving time since we are busy here daily with the animals.

In the end, no one washes these eggs off in nature so I can’t see why leaving it would cause harm. I have yet to find that it causes any harm.
 

Tom

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I've never washed any of my eggs. My hatch rates vary for a wide range of reasons, but I've had several clutches that had a 100% hatch rate and all the eggs still had dirt on them.
 

Redfool

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I give mine a quick rinse to get the loose dirt off. Just today dug up a fresh RF nest. In a clutch of seven eggs the first ones laid (bottom of nest) were very slimy. The last ones laid were so dry no soil stuck to them and didn’t need rinsing so you get them both ways from the same nest.
 

Bee62

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Many, many years ago when I was breeding ducks, I learned that the mucous deposited on the egg by the mother is a protective layer and should not be washed off. I have carried this knowledge forward to apply it to tortoise eggs.
It is the same with chicken eggs. I never wash chicken eggs that should hatch.
 

Bee62

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I had always heard you weren't supposed to wash eggs, even those that you were going to eat.
That is right. The egg shell is a natural barrier against germs and bacterias. When you wash the egg you destroy the natural barrier and bacterias and germs can get into the egg. It is better not to wash them.
Nature has not planned that eggs that should hatch are washed before.
 

surfergirl

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I just had my Russian females lay and unlike everything I read after (it was an accident so i was not well prepared) said fertile eggs chalk in 14 days. My first clutches-3 eggs each gal- chalked in the first week, I washed the eggs off so maybe the slim protects the egg from developing as fast? I would think especially for the clutches the end up wintering til spring those condition might especially require a natural protectant as it would have even a greater purpose. I know absolutely nothing about tort breeding except what i have read and the amazing video's Chris and others have shared. I have only raised farm birds over the yrs. I have already made some mistakes on this first go around of incubation to high temp for an hr and today accidentlly shut of the power for an hour eggs dropped to 83....so this will not be the best test with these clutches but if I decide to incubate any additional ones I'll do my best to keep both tests as perfect enviro as possible to see if washing makes a huge difference for my process.

Would love to help with anything I can to see more many amazing tortoises thriving!

Thank you all for leading our way to more knowledge and success!
 

bonsai tortoise

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The tortoise breeder Zoological International in the UK washes their eggs with F10. I’m guessing it works for them. I just wipe mine off with a dry towel.
 

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