Thursday, June 2, 2011

** How I candle eggs and you can too **

So you may be wondering, what is candling an egg and why in the world would you even do that?

Candling is done by holding a bright light near the egg so you can "peek" into the egg.  In this way one should be able to determine if there is a chick growing inside or not.  Candling is done after the eggs have been in the incubator for at least a few days. 

You may be wondering if it is hard.  Don't worry, it's not.  Candling can be done with a LED flashlight or a home made egg candler.  There are many ways to make something home made.  I've done both ways.  

Our eggs have now been in the incubator 14 days, 7 more to go.  Here's a pic of them I took a little while ago.  The incubator is also home made.  I'm sure that's pretty obvious.

 Here's a pic of my home made egg candler.  I only had a small coffee can and it didn't fit properly on top if the lamp//ight bulb so I added a little extra length with a newspaper. I used  some packing tape to secure the paper to the can. I punched a hole in the bottom of the can (now the top for my purposes) and used to white playdough to position the egg properly.  

 I took the picture below in the light.  Doing it in the dark is best.  Here's an egg from my fridge on the egg candler. You can see straight through it.  The orange shadow you see is just that, it's a defect from my camera I guess?  I'm not sure.  There is no chick growing inside of this egg so if it had been in the incubator I would have tossed it.

 Now in the next pictures you can see the veins running through the egg and the chick is much bigger now and is darker.  

 This one below was candled with an LED flashlight.   You can see the air pocket much better in this picturet.  This is the air the chick breathes while developing.

Here's another  picture of an egg I candled with an LED flashlight.  The veins are much more clear and you can see the air pocket.  I candled this one in the total dark.

As the chicks get bigger they will fill up the egg more and more.  I don't candle too much.  It's exciting to see life growing inside an egg.  These methods work great for white and light brown eggs.  They do not wok at all for dark brown eggs and green eggs.  I have 1 dark brown egg (maran) and 1 green egg (aracuana) and I cannot see into them at all.  In the future I am going to try to overcome this obstacle with a different candler design and possibly a super-bright LED light.  

To recap from previous posts:  My incubator temperature is around 99.5 degrees, Humidity is around 25-30%. I turn the eggs 3 times a day.  After 18 days of doing this then I will raise the humidity in the incubator to around 60%.  That is easily achieved by adding a medium jar of water.  Also at that point I will quit turning the eggs.  The eggs should start hatching within 21 days.  I've had eggs hatch after that before but only a couple.  More on hatching in a future post.

I get really excited around hatch time.  I hope you do too.  

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  1. my eggs have been in the incubator and its day4 for them when i candled them i only saw something floating in there im sure its to early to see anything anyway but i am just worried im not going to have any chicks

  2. I'm curious - have you seen any signs of life? I believe you should be able too. Especially if the eggs are white. Let me know :-)

    How many eggs are you incubating?

    Good Luck!