If you are planning on incubating eggs any time soon, then you need to learn about candling chicken eggs and how you can keep track of the incubation progress. A high powered LED light is used to monitor the progress of incubation and will help you in spotting embryo viability, moisture and any other details that affect the hatching.
Rotten eggs can spoil the hatch
If you are able to identify rotten eggs before they explode and spread germs all over the hatch, then you would be well set to supervise a healthy hatching. In case you are wondering, candling does not harm eggs. It is actually quite a natural process. Just as the mother normally leaves the nest for a short time every day without posing any harm to her eggs, you can take the eggs out of the incubator for a short period of time to carryout the candling process.
You need an LED torch
An essential tool to have is a powerful torch that gives out a powerful beam. You need to be able to see as much of the inside as possible and an LED candling torch can help make this possible.
When choosing the candling torch, ensure that it does not give off a lot of heat when the light is turned on. That would be bad for the embryos. Luxeon torches are good because they are bright and they do not give off any heat. Candling chicken eggs can be done in the evening or when the light is dim. Here is what you need and how to use them:
- Egg cartons
- Egg candling torch – LED light
The Candling Process
- All the eggs should be removed from the incubator and placed in the carton.
- Lights should be dim.
- Hold each egg to the torch light and inspect it.
- Eggs that are not developing should be discarded as well as nonfertile eggs.
- Healthy eggs should be returned to the incubator. The pencil can be used to mark out the eggs you are not too sure of; that way you can keep an eye on them and also learn a few things.
It takes some time to become an expert at candling chicken eggs but each time you do it, you gain some experience. Break open the eggs to see what is happening inside. If you get more than 20% non fertile eggs or old and poorly stored eggs, there are clear reasons for it; possibly inbreeding, bad parent diet or high hen to rooster ratio.
Candling should be started at day four of the incubation process. Fertile eggs usually have a visible embryo which comes out as a small spot, and blood vessels can be seen radiating from it. An infertile egg will not have the spot; instead, they will be clear or have a dark ring.
After 18 days of incubation, the eggs should not be candled. It is at this time that the embryo takes up most of the egg, leaving out the air sac. As incubation continues, the air sac increases in size because moisture evaporates from the egg. Humidity levels should be set just right so the egg has enough moisture.