Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Candling the eggs

On day 7, a week ago, we candled the eggs.  We don't really know what we are doing, but we candled them anyways.  That is how you learn, right?  Right.  Well, then.

We were looking for signs of life....or no life....in each egg.  Dad built a device to candle the eggs and it works great.  It is simply a 100 watt bulb mounted on a board with a tomato can inverted over it, and a hole punched in the bottom (now the top) on which to set the egg.
We found that the can gets too hot so we cut a small ring of cardboard from an egg carton to lift the egg up off the hot can.  Even with the switch that only allows the bulb to stay lit when held in a pressed position, the can gets hot.  Maybe a CFL bulb would work better.  We might try that one day.

We looked at each of our eggs, looked at pictures of eggs being candled on the computer, looked at more of our eggs, looked at youtube videos of eggs being candled, looked at more of our eggs.....all of them, really.....and carefully set them all back into the incubator with a bit of fear and trepidation.  Which were alive?   Which were dead?  Which would hatch and which would explode after 21 or more days at 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit?  Egads.  The miracle of life.  And the risk of a real stinker, literally.

Ten of the eggs were impossible to candle.  The four Maran eggs, a deep chocolate brown, were a mystery, as were the blue Americauna eggs, strangely enough.  Both had shells too dense to see through.

Many eggs had the dark spot with some vague veins running out from it that indicate a developing embryo.  Several had darkness on one side, diagonally, and translucentness on the other.  I later was told that the darkness was likely bacteria in the egg.

We really should candle again as it has been two weeks today.  I find it difficult to thin garden plants, and I have even more hope with each egg that I am wrong and all are alive, no matter what I see in that darkened room. 

It is time to focus on the growing life in the live eggs and gently wrap and discard the dead ones.  Tomorrow.  Yup.  Tomorrow.


  1. I can understand the dilemma. Hate to toss them, but if 1 explodes, oh GROSS! But don't wait too long....

  2. Yup, I just HAVE to get that done today, period. They may be too dark by today, though, as we are on day 15. Yikes.

  3. hey dear good luck with the eggs i hope they all do hatch..i cant imagine what it feels like to wait and wait to know whats coming but try not to think about it too much it will drive you crazzzzyyy...maybe give each egg a kiss before you go to bed..

  4. Guess what, I didn't get it done! Spring is so crazy, and this has also been mid-term exam week. There will be no egg kissing.....goat kissing, yes, egg kissing, no! Ha-ha!

    I don't get so distracted by the incubator because it is not in my house, so I can't compulsively check on it every five minutes, thank goodness. The brooder will be set up here, and I'll go to the folks' place once or twice a day as they start hatching and transport them over here in an insulated lunch cooler, pre-warmed with a hot water bottle.