Chicken Hatch-A-Long: Day 5

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 23 July 2020

Diary Day 5 - 15/09/2014 - Our First Candle and Humidity Issues

Day 5 is already upon us – how did that happen!? Today is an egg-citing day in the incubation process because we get to do our first candle! (Candling is usually done every 4-5 days)

1. Our first candle!

Candling the eggs is an essential part of the incubating process. By shining a torch on the end of the egg, we can see whether the embryo is developing as it should be, or whether the embryo has unfortunately deceased (and therefore needs to be removed from the incubator).

We had four healthy embryos developing in each batch, so a total of 8 are alive and well.

A healthy embryo! Note the dark embryo spot and the red spider veins stemming out from it.

candling in the first week of incubation lets you check that the embyro is developing

Unfortunately, two did not develop quite so well, and had to be removed.

This egg just had a yolk inside (the dark round mass), with no sign of an embryo developing.

if the embryo has not developed in the first week you will need to discard it

All in all we had 8 out of 12 successful embryos. We’re pretty chuffed!

2. Humidity issues

We walked in this morning to find one of our incubators sitting on 60%, and the other hovering around the 48-49% mark. Whilst the alarm hasn’t gone off and we aren’t too concerned, our efforts to bring the temperature to the optimal 50-55% mark have thus far been unfruitful.

Putting a tad too much water into the incubator – and the resulting humidity…

regulating the water level is the key to getting the right humidity

We squirted some more water into the incubator at 48% to try and raise the humidity level, but despite our best efforts and constant watching, it was refusing to rise. That is, until, we realised the lid of the incubator wasn’t on properly. Of course, as soon as we popped the lid on the humidity rose due to all the extra water, and is now currently sitting on a steamy 62%. We have been opening and closing both lids to let some of the air out – the temperature is sitting on a perfect 37.5 degrees Celsius so we aren’t too concerned.

Lesson: always make sure the lid is on properly!

Once those eggs have hatched, that precious baby chick time really does fly and your family will want to make the most of those special weeks! You're also going to want to make sure that you've got the best knowledge you need to raise a happy, healthy flock. You wouldn't want to risk making tragic mistakes that could impact their development, growth or worse!

67% of chicken keepers surveyed experienced a chicken health or behaviour issue in the first 12 months that they didn’t know how to handle. This is why I highly recommend that you check out our friends at Chickenpedia. Their Raising Baby Chicks course provides lots of valuable information to help you avoid any life-threatening accident. You'll have all the confidence to give your feathered friends the best start in life.

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Sources and further reading