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!
These informative articles will help you better understanding of candling eggs.

by Jono’s Urban Farm

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”. 

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More Help

Candling Eggs Progression Through Incubation :
There are some particular detailed signs to look for at all stages of growth

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Silkie Bantam on Eggs

Peaches, my best Silkie Momma is sitting on five Cochin Bantam eggs,  looking forward to the big day when they hopefully all hatch! TBN Ranch is still zoned for livestock in the city of Phoenix, however ordinances prohibit roosters. We follow the rules, but this means I have to buy fertile eggs. Good and bad, good that I can choose eggs from quality breeding stock, bad that I often have to travel to do so.

Silkie on Eggs

Yesterday we drove over an hour to purchase fertile cochin eggs!  I’m not complaining, we just feel blessed to still have one of the few ranches left in our fast growing area. Eight of eleven ranches here have sold to business complexes and master planned housing developers over the last ten years.
We’ve recently been informed TBN Ranch may be the next target for the expansion of an existing master planned community across the road. Not happening.

Back on topic… So, we are expecting baby chicks in about three weeks, how exciting! It’s been very hot here, July averaged about 106. However, the new barn has done it’s job keeping our flock comfortable. There is plenty of shade in both the coop and where the broody hens are housed. We had a little problem with mites early in the month, but that unpleasant issue has been resolved. I treated the whole flock even though only one bird had signs of mites. I’m happy to say she’s already getting back her cute fluffy butt.

Peaches is in her own coop where she won’t be disturbed by the other hens. I’m pretty sure they’d try to steal her eggs, after all, they’re Silkies! All in good time ladies, around here we practice planned parenthood.

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Why Hens Leave Fertile Nest Eggs Unattended

Chickens never lay more than one egg per day. If the eggs are not collected, and a sufficient number of eggs are allowed to remain in the nest, the hen may stop laying eggs and start brooding.

When the hen leaves the nest after laying an egg, it cools which suspends the development of the embryo inside. If the temperature remains between 45F and 65F, the embryos will remain viable for as long as two weeks.

Broody Tulip 4-18-14

When the hen becomes broody and sits on her eggs for three weeks, all of the eggs will hatch at about the same time. This is why it is normal for the hen to leave the nest after laying.

Remember, not all breeds of hens will sit on eggs…ever. However, some breeds have very strong tendencies to become broody, or be inclined to incubate eggs.

Here are a few common broody breeds…

  • Buff Orpingtons
  • Silkies Cochins
  • Light Brahmas
  • Dark Cornish
  • Buff Rocks
  • Turkens
  • Buff Brahmas
  • Cuckoo Marans
  • Cochin Bantams
  • Cornish Bantams
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