This is an important topic therefore this article will cover the following important points: Handling/Collecting, Cleaning, Storing, & Shelf life.
This is one of the most important issues with successful hatching rate.
When collecting eggs don’t allow them to knock against each other or to knock against the container. Place the eggs in a commercial egg carton as you collect them, with one end down this is the safest way to collect them and should help your hatching ratio.
If the eggs are dirty, use a damp/dry cloth to clean them, it’s not recommended to immerse them in water. Do not scrub, scrap or pick at the eggs as you may crack or break them. It is important that if any eggs have hardened farcies on them to remove it, as this will interfere with egg turning. Do not attempt to remove excess egg shell/calcium or any shell deformities.
Store the eggs in a dark, dry place away from any heat source or sudden fluctuating temperature, for example, Pantry, Cupboard, Closet with a stable room temperature of around 20c (do not refrigerate) Rotate the eggs from end to end each day, this is very important for the embryo, and will help the shelf life.
As a rule, an embryo generally begins to deteriorate 7 – 10 days after laid but this will depend on how the eggs are stored.
How you handle the eggs from the time you collect them, will affect the success & hatching rate of the eggs. To use an old catch phrase, “handle with care” it will make a difference. Storing the eggs correctly is critical to the hatching ratio, store them right and you should have good results, store them wrong and expect the worst.
Article written 2006 by Peacocks Australia