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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Mechanical Hatching Egg Sanitization: a Fresh Look

Authors
item Joseph, Mauldin - UGA POULTRY SCI
item Berrang, Mark
item Cox, Nelson

Submitted to: WATT Poultry USA
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 10, 2003
Publication Date: March 1, 2003
Citation: Joseph, M., Berrang, M.E., Cox Jr, N.A. 2003. MECHANICAL HATCHING EGG SANITIZATION: A FRESH LOOK. WATT Poultry USA. pp. 42, 44, 46-48, 50. 2003.

Interpretive Summary: Egg sanitation has had a dubious history in North America until recent years. Three to four decades ago, hatching egg sanitization was done by immersion of eggs in an egg-gathering basket (plastic coated metal wire) into a small vat with a heating element and disinfectant solution. This procedure had the potential to be successful; however, it failed miserably for several reasons. 1) The eggs were not subjected to the heated disinfectant for the correct amount of time. 2) The solutions were not changed frequently enough. 3) Accurate temperature control was practically impossible. 4) Immersion did not effectively remove the organic material from the eggshells. The consequences of this early attempt at hatching egg sanitization were disastrous. The contamination (exploders) could be seen, smelled, and heard. Not only were the results bad those several decades ago, it prejudiced an entire industry against future interest in hatching egg sanitization. In the last 10 years, hatching egg sanitization has reappeared, but in a much different form, mechanical hatching egg sanitization. Mechanical hatching egg sanitizers are being used mainly in the primary breeder industry and in some parent stock egg producers. The mechanical egg sanitizers are very effective because their controls have eliminated the problems that occurred with immersion (time, solution temperature, contamination, and non-removal of organic material). In addition, these machines truly clean the eggs.

Technical Abstract: Egg sanitation has had a dubious history in North America until recent years. Three to four decades ago, hatching egg sanitization was done by immersion of eggs in an egg-gathering basket (plastic coated metal wire) into a small vat with a heating element and disinfectant solution. This procedure had the potential to be successful; however, it failed miserably for several reasons. 1) The eggs were not subjected to the heated disinfectant for the correct amount of time. 2) The solutions were not changed frequently enough. 3) Accurate temperature control was practically impossible. 4) Immersion did not effectively remove the organic material from the eggshells. The consequences of this early attempt at hatching egg sanitization were disastrous. The contamination (exploders) could be seen, smelled, and heard. Not only were the results bad those several decades ago, it prejudiced an entire industry against future interest in hatching egg sanitization. In the last 10 years, hatching egg sanitization has reappeared, but in a much different form, mechanical hatching egg sanitization. Mechanical hatching egg sanitizers are being used mainly in the primary breeder industry and in some parent stock egg producers. The mechanical egg sanitizers are very effective because their controls have eliminated the problems that occurred with immersion (time, solution temperature, contamination, and non-removal of organic material). In addition, these machines truly clean the eggs.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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