Hatch-A-Long: Day 12

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 23 July 2020

22/09/2014 - Diary Entry 3 - The Second Candle

Today is a very egg-citing day, as we got to do our second candle, and get a better look at the progress our babies are making.

The incubator has been working away, incubating our eggs and keeping the temperature and humidity consistent, so we’re confident that our hatch rate should be pretty good! But let’s not count our chickens before they hatch…

Home sweet home!

We pulled out the first lot of eggs and were shocked by how hard it actually is to identify the growing embryo - far more difficult than our first candle at 5 days old. This is because the chickens have grown so much inside their shell! The embryo shows up as dark space inside the egg - it’s very easy to identify the air sac, but outside of that can be a bit tricky.

Looking for the embryo...

candling eggs is essential to checking the progress of incubation

After a few minutes of squinting and searching, we found little spider veins in our healthy eggs, along with a large developing embryo. How egg-citing!

6 out of the 8 eggs came up as completely healthy, and were put back into the incubator straight away to keep on growing. One egg had an embryo and the spider veins, however did show some speckling down one end of the egg. This means the embryo has a more slim chance of developing successfully than the others, but we’ll let it have it’s shot!

Still growing, but slightly speckled...

candling a damaged air sac indicates that an incubating egg is unlikely to develop

There was only one egg that unfortunately stopped developing, and it was very easy to distinguish. The egg had two distinct ‘blood rings’ detectable on the inside of the egg, and was removed from the incubator immediately.

2 blood rings - time for this egg to be removed from the incubator.

candling an egg with blood rings shows that the embryo inside is dead

We can’t believe that we’re already halfway through our incubation - seems like only yesterday we were collecting our fertile chicken eggs! We can’t wait to meet our little Silkie chickens, and look forward to our last candle around day 17.

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Sources and further reading