Friday 11 March 2022

Candling Eggs in Anticipation of Chicken Hatching

Hatch day is fast approaching with Saturday, March 12th being just under a week away. I have my fingers crossed that I will have a brood of cute little hatchlings! In anticipation of the chick hatching, I have been checking the egg development by candling them. 

I thought candling would be simple. Place egg on light and observe the embryo development. Maybe I am doing it wrong, maybe I have bad eyes (fun fact: I have terrible eyesight - 6.25) or the eggs are not fertilized. It is tricky to get a glimpse into the eggs. Darker shells reduce the amount of light that shines through. It also does not help that I have no idea what I am looking for when candling. 

Unfertilized Egg

Since the eggs should not be out of the incubator for greater than a minute, I tested my camera setup on an egg from the fridge aka my future breakfast. The unfertilized egg glowed orange all the way through with a few brighter specs which is simply the patterning on the eggshell affecting the way the light passes through. There are no blood vessels or dark regions of embryo growth. There is also no bright air sac. 

Fertilized Eggs in Incubator

The larger eggs of the 6 were tough to Candle. The eggs were mostly dark with a bright glowing portion at the bottom of the egg - the air sac. I had more success with the smaller three eggs. Immediately I was able to identify active blood veins, eyes and I think a little foot?! In fact, I swear I saw the embryo move when I candled one of the little eggs. These eggs too were majority dark, so my assumption would be that it is the growing chick. 

Only a few more days until lockdown and the big hatch day. Also, I completely dropped the ball on posting because this update is for Sunday, March 6th aka day 15 of incubation. 

Unfertilized Egg from my kitchen. No blood vessels. No bright air sac. No dark region. It glows evenly orange with brighter specs which I assume is the pattern on the egg. 
Fertile Egg! Check out the blood vessels

Another fertile egg. The brighter portion at the bottom is the air sac. The top is very dark because it is the developing chick that is now large and blocking the light

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