Ducks begin laying eggs from the age of six months, and 90 per cent of those able to produce eggs, lay one a day. Eggs are laid either at night or early morning, so they should be gathered first thing to prevent them from becoming too dirty. As you collect them, it is important to separate the dirty eggs from clean ones to avoid bacterial contamination. The eggs are then easily cleaned by following some basic steps.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Fine grade steel wool
- Warm water
- Clean Cloth
Gather the eggs, and collect them onto a clean plastic tray. Separate the dirtier eggs from the clean ones as you continue to prevent contaminating the good eggs with dirty bacteria.
Go to a kitchen or preparation area that is clean. This ensures that the eggs are handled in an environment that will not spread duck germs.
Use fine grade steel wool ball to remove excess debris from the shell of each duck egg. Dip it lightly in warm water if necessary to help remove the build-up of duck manure and mud.
Dunk a clean cloth in warm water, that is no more than 7.22 degrees Celsius. Squeeze out the extra moisture so the cloth is just damp.
Wipe over the surface of the egg, gently using the damp cloth. Use soft strokes and circular motions to avoid breaking or damaging the egg.
Replace each egg onto the plastic tray once it has been cleaned, and then put them into incubation.
Tips and warnings
- Add sanitiser to the water if the eggs are particularly dirty. Iodine-based compounds, chlorine solutions and quaternary ammonium compounds are suitable for the task.
- Fumigate the eggs if they cannot be washed. This will eradicate any bacteria that will damage the egg. Use formaldehyde gas in a chamber to do this.
- Do not use hot or cold water to wash the eggs, as the insides will contract and the egg will spoil. The optimum temperature is 7.22 degrees Celsius.
- Do not submerge the eggs in water or wash them under a tap as you will remove the waxy coating that helps the ducklings to hatch.
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