Friday 18 March 2022

Final Egg Candling Disaster before Incubator Lockdown

It is Day 18 aka Lockdown day! This is the last time I get to candle the eggs to check for development before putting the incubator into lockdown, which means I will not be allowed to open the incubator until the eggs hatch. Opening the incubator during lockdown IS detrimental to the eggs as it would cause a drop in temperature and humidity. Also in preperation for lockdown you have to add additional water to sustain the higher humidity over the course of the next four days. 

Since we are close to hatch day, the chicks have grown significantly therefore occupying a larger part of the egg. It also means candling is trickier as the developing chick body blocks the light from passing through making the egg just look dark. The smaller eggs were still the easier of the two sizes to candle. I could identify blood vessels, but it was nearly impossible to see anything in the large eggs. 

I was really excited to take pictures of the candling process and share them when one of the little eggs tumbled off the light and hit the hardwood floor. A large portion of the outer shell broke off, but the inner membrane was still intact. At that point, there was not much I could do so I quickly placed it back in the incubator and just hoped I did not kill the little chick inside. Needless to say, I was extremely upset with myself and did not want to continue candle in fear of more screwing up more eggs.

The tray is also removed from the incubator and replaced with a non-stick mat or towel instead. You do not want the eggs rotating anymore as it causes the air bubble to move inside the egg which could cause the chick to drown. Putting down a mat or towel is important to give the baby chicks some traction. This helps me them get some grip under their feet to start building up the strength in their legs to walk! 

To me, all of the eggs are showing signs of development, but I was actually wrong. Once I significantly increased the exposure in lightroom,  it was clear that one of the eggs really has not developed. But I did not know that until later, so I was still crossing my fingers for 6 little chicks on Hatch Day!


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