Sunday, November 14, 2010

Candling Eggs

Yeah, OK it's a ridiculous photo that is completely indecipherable but this post would be really boring without some sort of image! Although we didn't have any success capturing the image, we did have success candling the silkie chicken eggs.  I'd read that this was something I ought to do.  Apparently, dud eggs can develop a build up of gases and explode in the incubator causing a big mess.  I was nervous about candling them -  I thought I wouldn't know what I was looking at.  But the thought of an explosion forced me to investigate this candling business and I discovered it's dead easy.  No need to buy or even make any equipment.  You just need a fairly strong LED torch (I used the light from  Monkey Man's bike) and darkness.    We candled the eggs at day 8.  Being nervous and loving a bit of a research job, I'd spent a bit of time beforehand on the internet figuring out what I ought to be looking for.  There are plenty of good YouTube videos that were fascinating.  You can get information on the Backyard Poultry site including here.  And also on this Backyard Chickens site there are some good photos.  So on day 8 I took six of my eggs out of the incubator and popped them into an egg carton.  It takes a bit of time for eggs to cool down so no need to rush too much but I thought it better to do shifts and keep half warm.  I turned off the lights,  put the torch on an egg and gently turned it around.  Sure enough we could see red veins and a dark shape - and it was moving!  We candled all the eggs and only found 3 that don't seem to have taken.  I've pencilled a ? on these eggs and will check back in a couple of days before discarding them.  I was so excited and relieved to see life and know that I was doing something right.  And I've finally managed to capture the attention of the monkey boys!


  1. Ooo it's very exciting! But complicated! What are you going to do with the question marked eggs? Lol, I would worry about that bit.

  2. Compost! I'm a bit squeamish. Some would break them apart and check if they can see what went wrong but I'm not curious.

  3. Euww no, I couldn't do that. I would be curious, but I would die if I cracked one open and been wrong, and something moved! Lol, for all my love of gardening, I don't deal to well with the natural world.

    Your leeks keep appearing on the sidebar, gosh they look healthy.

  4. How exciting!! Looking forward to more updates on the eggs. Our duck is sitting on a clutch at the moment and last week while she was off having her dinner, a bird came along and took one of the eggs. I found the shell later and was squeamish about what had been inside. Your picture there reminds me of an ultrasound scan - completely indecipherable but exciting, nonetheless! :)


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