Look Inside Your Eggs

Sometimes you want to check and see what’s going on inside your eggs. Is there a chick inside? Is it growing? You can’t crack your egg open. What do you do? Candling is the answer.

Candling is a good way to tell if there is an embryo inside your eggs. This is helpful if you want to incubate eggs and want to remove dud eggs to prevent them from spoiling. A rotten egg in the incubator can ruin the other healthy eggs.

Before candling eggs, be sure to wash your hands and handle the eggs gently to avoid causing trauma to the embryo. To avoid unnecessary stress on the embryos, try to candle no more than three times between days seven and eighteen of incubation.

What you will need to candle eggs is a small flashlight or candler and a dark space like a closet.

If you will be using a flashlight ensure that it is small enough that the entire egg covers the end of the flashlight that the light comes out of. If an embryo has started to develop, you should be able to see veins, and depending on the age, you may even see the embryo moving! If the egg is golden yellow and clear inside with no veins, it isn’t developing. Dud eggs should be discarded. Not eaten, and do not leave them in the incubator as if it spoils, it can ruin the fertile eggs.

A great day to candle your eggs is around day ten. At this point, the embryo is large enough to take shape and you can usually see it moving! If you have children, they may like to see the embryos move as well. This is an interesting way to get your children involved in the incubation process.

Found in “Keeping Healthy Chickens” by Carissa Bonham , book available for purchase through the Purely Poultry Website.