Originally Posted by RattleCan
Alright guys, I need some help. The eggs have arrived and... not gonna lie. After the last two batches of eggs that I hatched, I thought I knew what I was looking at when candling. But apparently I don't.
I'm assessing the quality of the air cells. Almost every single one of these eggs has a loose air bubble that moves when I rotate the egg. This is a rolling air cell, correct? It's just that, in some of the eggs, there's a darker area that doesn't move when you rotate the egg and, even though the air bubble wants to roll around freely, it won't go past that dark area. And some of those dark areas look like the saddle shaped air cells in Sally Sunshine's earlier post about shipped eggs. So is that little bubble the air cell, or is it that whole dark area in general? I can try to take pictures if that will help. I just wanted to try the method of outlining the air cells, but I'm not sure what I should outline. Or should I wait to do that until lockdown?
If the bubbles can move anywhere within the egg, the aircell is broken. If they are contained within the darker area, but it is larger than a normal aircell, then they are saddled, but not broken. Definitely let them rest for a few days with the large end up. Some of the aircells may repair themselves. Candle again before you set them on Thursday to see what shape the aircells are in. If they look better, you can start to turn them right away as normal. If they still look bad, I would wait a few days to start turning them.
Second, one of the eggs is cracked. Not broken cracked, but definitely has a visual starbust and long hairline cracks coming from it. I've heard you can use candle wax to repair eggs like this, any advice?
I use the fabric medical tape and remove it at lockdown so it doesn't keep the chick from pipping. If it isn't too bad, I have also used the spray on bandage and redo it a couple of times during incubation. It lets air through and won't hamper pipping/zipping. Others use wax or nailpolish, but I have never tried those.
Third, a second egg has what looks like cracks, but they're on the inside of the shell. From the outside it looks like a normal egg, but when candled, there's a small starburst and cracks coming from it. Haven't seen anything like that before so not sure if I should do anything about it.
Those sound like stress cracks. The egg is probably bigger than that particular hen is used to laying. If they don't seem to go through the shell, you don't need to do anything.
Now, assuming the moving air bubbles are the air cells, I'm going to say they're just about all loose and rolling. I haven't dealt with this before, all of the eggs I hatched in my last two batches never had a freely moving air bubble, so here comes the doubt about me being able to successfully hatch these guys.
Unfortunately, eggs with broken aircelss seldom hatch, but they can so don't give up on them yet. I have only done it successfully once.
I guess I'll let them settle for the few days and set them on Thursday. Sally Sunshine's post says not to turn on the turner for at least 3 days after I start incubating them with loose air cells. Does this still apply if I let them settle for almost 3 days before starting to incubate? Does the air cell eventually settle into place and stop moving? Or will it now be loose until the developing chick essentially forces it to stay near the top of the egg?