Taking Chicken Keeping a Step Further, Candling Eggs

Are you still in the dark about candling eggs?  This article will walk you through it with descriptive and detailed pics. Or, you can be lazy like me and just wait to see if your eggs hatch! It’s a sure thing my way, if they hatch, they were fertile, if not…  they weren’t.  ha ha!

by Jono’s Urban Farm
Growing & eating small scale, local, ethical and sustainable produce.

So you’ve got chooks and a rooster and you want some chicks. But how do you know if the rooster is doing his job?

The way to check eggs to see if they are fertile is called “candling”.  Continue Reading

More links from Jono’s Urban Farm…
Candling Eggs Progression Through Incubation :” There are some particular detailed signs to look for at all stages of growth

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The Fertilization of a Chicken Egg

The Basic Reproduction Process Explained

Silver Laced Polish

As in all animals, the fusion of ovum and a sperm is how fertilization occurs. Then an embryo forms and develops into a new organism. The chicken is no exception; their eggs need to be fertilized in order to develop a chick.

A chicken will begin laying eggs between five and six months of age, until then she is called a pullet. However, climate, seasons, and other various factors do play a significant role in laying cycles.  Certain breed types are also included in the variances of  egg laying, first time or otherwise.  One thing for sure, when a pullet reaches sexual maturity she will lay eggs whether or not there is a rooster present.

Roosters [males] have reproductive organs which produce sperms that are released during mating.  The sperms enter the oviduct of the hen [female] and continues a nearly week long reproductive journey to meet the eggs. The sperms final destination is in the infundibulum. This is where they will wait about a week for the partially formed and unshelled eggs. If there is a yolk, the eggs are fertilized instantly. So, it’s safe to say you can expect fertile eggs seven to ten days after mating.

Note:  It is possible the hen may produce fertile eggs the following week as well.

When hens are in the presence of a rooster there is a way to separate the fertilized eggs from infertile by a technique called candling.  This method uses a bright light source behind the egg to show details through the shell. Fertilized eggs will show a darker yolk on one end, usually when they are one or two days old.  Within two to three days, if incubated, you may actually see indications of a growing embryo.