Chicken Fertile Eggs How to Candle Them the Right Way

Candling your chicken fertile eggs is extremely important if you want to hatch out some chicks. After all, just placing all the eggs into the incubator will result in a very smelly situation. You may have unfertilized eggs, or fertile ones that have stopped growing. Fortunately, candling is an easy method to avoid this problem. Let’s take a look at how it’s done.

The only equipment you’ll need is a bright light and a dark room. Originally, an actual candle was used to do this, but you can do it with an extremely bright flashlight. Commercial chicken candling is done by computer. Make sure your dark room is near the incubator so that your hatching fertile eggs don’t cool down. Turn on the light and hold the larger end of the egg up to it, so that the light shines through the shell. If you’re doing it correctly, you should be able to see inside the egg.

Don’t use a light that will get extremely hot, and avoid handling the eggs this way for a long time. Be careful not to accidentally crack the shell, and put the egg back in the incubator shortly after you finish candling. You should be able to see the different parts of the egg when you candle. There should be an air sac and yolk in all eggs, and in fertile ones, there should be a thin red ring of blood vessels around the yolk.
In eggs that have been incubated for a week or more, you may even be able to see the embryo. Brown or other colored eggs make it harder to candle successfully, so you may have to wait until the embryo is more developed to find out if they’re really fertile. In the first few days, a fertile egg, or “winner” should have a network of blood vessels inside. By day seven, you ought to be able to see the eye of the embryo, as well as the shadow of its body. Some movement may or may not appear.

Not all chicken eggs are fertile when you candle them. Embryos that stop growing are called “quitters” and have a blood ring around the yolk, but nothing else. If you candle at seven days, these eggs will look just the same as they did early on. Toss them out – they won’t turn into chickens. Still other eggs are not fertile at all. These are sometimes called “yolkers” and have no blood ring or blood vessels around the yolk. If they haven’t been in the incubator yet, you can eat them, but they should be thrown out if they’ve spent any time in it.

That’s all there is to candling fertile chicken eggs – a bright light and a good eye. It takes a little practice to see whether an egg is fertile early on, but you’ll soon get the hang of it. Practice with an infertile egg from the store if you’re worried about handling, and be sure to candle all your eggs.
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