Egg Candling

We candled our eggs tonight and took some photos to show how they look.

Candling eggs is where you use a bright light to look through the shell into eggs that you are incubating to see if they are fertile and developing.  We find it fascinating.  We do not have any fancy equipment but simply take a torch and hold the flat bottom of the egg onto the torch top and look at them in a dark room. This is adequate for our purposes, which is to satisfy our curiosity about whether they are growing or not, and to remove any infertile ones.

The egg below is unfertile.  It has been incubating for 2 weeks.  We thought it was infertile when we checked after 1 week but as we are very inexperienced at this we decided to leave it for another week to make sure.  We removed it tonight and will let one of the pigs eat it.

Below is a fertile egg has been incubating for 1 week.  You can see the dark dot roughly central in the picture.  That is the developing chick.  If you have good eyes you can even see blood vessels spreading out through the egg.  The chick is usually against one side of the egg, so you need to rotate the egg around until you find it.  It jiggles slightly around inside the egg as you watch – its ALIVE!  

The egg below has also been incubating for 1 week.  The chick in this one seems much bigger.  It is strange but it does seem that some grow larger more quickly than others, it could just be the angle that the chick is being viewed from or perhaps the breed?  The lighter area you see at the base of the egg is the air pocket.

Now on to one of the eggs that has been incubating for 2 weeks.  The air gap is larger and so is the chick! It can still be seen to move around a bit but just basically looks like a big dark blob from the outside.

The next photo is just to show that different eggs have different amounts of darkness in the shells, which does  not relate at all to whether the egg is white or brown.  This is a fertile egg of 1 weeks incubation and the chick is about 1/3 of the way down towards the right.  However it is much harder to see as the egg shell is so dark.

We are excited to see the chicks growing, and are holding our breath to see if they actually make it all the way through to hatching, hopefully we have the incubator set up well enough.  It is wonderful to see a life growing so fast.  We stand in awe of God’s brilliant design.

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4 Responses to “Egg Candling”

  1. holly Says:

    Nice pics. thanks for posting.
    I’m new to this too.

  2. Jeanette Says:

    Can’t wait to hear if they hatched! How many did you start with and how many actually hatched? Your pictures are awsome!

    • milkenunny Says:

      I just saw your comment on our blog about the egg candling. Sorry to take so long to respond – we had changed our email address and forgotten to fix in on the blog so I didn’t get notification of your comment until I finally logged on tonight to add more to the blog.

      Anyway we had 12 of our own eggs and 12 that we had been given in the incubator and we got 3 hatched from our own eggs and 6 hatched from the ones we were given a week later. You can see lots of photos and read about the hatching at https://milkenunny.wordpress.com/2008/08/03/chicks/

      and https://milkenunny.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/counting-the-chickens/

      All the chicks grew up just fine, but we were a little disappointed that we didn’t get a higher percentage to hatch. We bought some eggs from the mainland and tried to hatch them a few months later but got none to hatch!! We were not sure if the eggs got too old coming through the post or if our home made incubator was to blame. However we also used it to finish incubating some turkey eggs that our turkeys deserted and it worked great for that.

      Right now we are in the process of upgrading the incubator and we hope to try again with it soon.

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