Originally Posted by rebrascora
I think it's most likely that you are just not assessing the eggs' fertility correctly. Some eggs have obvious bulls eyes but some are more difficult to distinguish and I'm not convinced it is an exact science.
Since you presumably obtained an incubator with the intention of hatching some eggs, then to me it makes sense to put some of your eggs in and see if they develop rather than dither about whether they look fertile or not. You will be able to tell after a few days by candling them, so my advice would be to just... "go for it".... you have nothing to lose. It may take you a few goes to find the optimum settings for hatching with your incubator anyway, so the sooner you get started, the sooner you will figure it out..
Good luck and don't forget to have a plan for what you are going to do with the excess cockerels that will result.
I agree the bullseye thing is not 100%.
If you have white or light eggs, candling at 3-4 days may show you if they are developing....
......but being new at hatching it may you take more days to see what there is to see.
Darker brown and blue/green eggs can very difficult to see into.....
....each egg is different, so if you don't see anything at first don't despair.
Just keep trying...sometimes you have to wait until hatch day or after.
I found candling very hard to do at first, got much easier after that first hatch.
First Hatch - I candled on day 7-10-14-18.
Day 7 - didn't see much but the air cells, which I outlined with a pencil every time I candled, maybe some veining and lumps..maybe moving...I was very disappointed.
Day 10 - could definitely see veins and some movement...maybe some clears and blood rings.
Day 14 - saw much more definition of shape, movement and realized what I had seen the previous times. Clears and blood ring more obvious.
Day 18 - pulled the now very obvious clears and blood rings. Viable chicks almost filled egg and wasn't as much movement.
Knew much better what to look for the next time I incubated. It just takes some practice and experience.
Candle well after sunset or in a dark windowless room, I used a cardboard template with a hole cut to fit into a utility light shade with a 60watt bulb. Also used a very bright flashlight and just my hand in a windowless room after I got better at it.