Tag Archives: Candling

Day 14: Candling


Last night the eggs reached 2/3 of the way through incubation, and we candled them again to see how they’re developing.

The second batch of eggs, which we started after discovering that most of the original eggs were infertile, will be ready for their first candling this weekend (and we’ll be putting incubator #1 on lockdown this weekend, too).


This is a developing Easter Egger, the green pigment in the shell makes it difficult to see inside.


A Welsummer egg, also very hard to see through but definitely developing.


White eggs are very easy to candle.


By day 14 the claws are forming, and the chick is moving into position for hatch. It’s also taking up so much space in the shell that it’s difficult to see anything inside, much less photograph it.


I pulled 5 eggs that weren’t developing, including the Welsummer egg I tried to patch with wax. No big surprise there. But interestingly enough, they were all from the same flock — so it probably has more to do with their diet or the age of the hens than the incubation.


Wax patch gone wrong


Another Welsummer egg that didn’t make it.


A dead Leghorn egg (we’d be seeing a lot more veins otherwise)

The other 13 looked really good, and we could see a lot of movement in some of the eggs. I also weighed each egg (ideally they should lose about 13% of their weight by the end of incubation) and most were right on track, at around 11%. In a few more days we’ll increase humidity, so the weight loss will slow down a bit then.

The chicks are due to hatch in about a week, and I’ll be starting a live video stream from the incubator once the eggs start rocking and rolling – so check back often! I’ll also be posting frequent updates to the Facebook page as we get closer to hatch day.


Chicken Hatch Day 14: Candling #2

It’s hard to believe, but we’re already 2/3 of the way done with our incubation. In just about a week the chicks should be getting ready to make their appearance!

We candled the eggs again tonight, and the chicks are big enough now that it’s hard to see anything going on inside. Especially with the darker shelled eggs, there’s not much to see besides a few veins:



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Chicken Hatch Day 8: Candling

After waiting patiently for 8 days, tonight we candled all of the eggs to see how many are developing.


Of course, I snuck a peek at 3 of them last night, but that only amplified my excitement. So as soon as night fell, our friends across the street came over and we got started.


As much as I love candling eggs, it’s always such a stressful endeavor. Handling so many tiny, fragile lifeforms makes my fingers feel like they’ve turned to sticks of butter. But this time, at least we weren’t crammed into a pitch black closet with a growling hen.

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Chicken Hatch Day 7: I just couldn’t help myself


I peeked at 3 of them. It was completely necessary, though — my sister and I needed to test out the camera equipment, and the focus is different when you’re looking at veins inside the egg. Or something like that.



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Chicken Hatch Day 0: Setting the incubator

Tonight’s the start of our (21 day) incubation process! The eggs are now coming up to temperature, and we should start seeing some action the weekend of April 26th. I’ll be posting periodic updates as I check the eggs for development and get ready for hatch day.

I let the eggs rest overnight in their cartons, with the fat end up (this helps the aircell attach.) I ran the incubator overnight too, making sure it was holding steady at 99.5 degrees Farenheit and around 45-50% humidity. Then, I checked out the eggs with a flashlight to weed out any that might not be viable.

This is called “candling,” I guess because in the old days it was done using a candle. And it’s really fun, though probably not so much in the old days when you had to worry about cooking the egg. I’ll be doing it again around days 7 and 14, so that I can pull out any eggs that stop developing (and also watch the embryos moving inside.) But this time, I’m just looking for things that might decrease viability — like blood spots, or rolling air cells, or extremely porous shells.


This is a reject egg from Salty, my Light Brahma — note the thin spots in the shell. Salty tends to lay thin-shelled eggs, so she didn’t contribute many to this hatch.

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