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Candling photos and stages of development- info compilation (pics!)

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 

With Spring around the corner all thoughts are turning to ......... hatching chicks! ya  For the members that are old hands at this, please feel free to add your candling photos, or photos of chicks that quit before hatching that you decided to take photos of.  For the newbies, welcome to the chicken addiction!  hugs  Here is a quick rundown on some of the terms you will hear thrown around regarding hatching, and what you can expect from your first hatching project. 

First... the terminology...

CANDLING - this is the method for seeing into a developing egg.  Usually people will use a pen-light in a dark room, and shine the light down on the large end of the egg to see what's happening inside.  Some eggs are harder to see into, such as the marans or ameraucana eggs.  But white and brown eggs are easy to see into.  Here's a fresh egg.
(click on photos to enlarge)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k270/vyancey/Chickens/Copyrighted%20photos/th_Freshegg-copyright.jpg
If you have eggs shipped in, you will want to do a quick candling on them to make sure there are no cracks.  Finely cracked eggs can hatch, either left alone or sealed up with a bit of plain wax.   The candler in this picture is made from a porcelain ceiling socket under a large metal coffee can.
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k270/vyancey/Chickens/th_P5090011.jpg  The boys made it for me, and it works great. 
Do a search here on BYC for other ideas on homemade candlers if you don't want to buy one. smile

POROUS shell:  a shell with larger than normal holes in it; looks like this:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k270/vyancey/Chickens/th_P5150041-PorousDorkingegg.jpg
Porous eggs will hatch just as well as others.  However, it is believed that a lot more moisture can be lost through the shell this way, and the humidity might need to be increased to compensate.  If you notice the airsac getting really large really fast, you might try raising the humidity 5%.

If all goes well, by day 7-8, you should see VEINS like this:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k270/vyancey/Chickens/Copyrighted%20photos/th_8dayoldembryo-copyright.jpg
This is an egg on day 8.  Usually starting at day 3 in the incubation process, you will start to see actual faint veins.  Sometimes it will take a little longer for them to develop... be patient, let it happen.  I think a good number of people will candle the first time at day 7, and mark a "?" on any eggs that they're not sure about.  If, at day 7, your egg still looks like the fresh egg above, then it is probably not going to hatch and can be removed.  Some people like to leave them in a little longer, and candle again at day 14, or even day 18 before putting the eggs in the hatcher, and then make the decision to remove.   However, the rule of thumb is a) if it's smelly, or b) if it's weeping - throw it out!  It may explode if left in the incubator, and it will ruin the entire hatch.

Here's an egg on day 10:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k270/vyancey/Chickens/th_10dayoldegg.jpg

By day 14, the egg should look like this:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k270/vyancey/Chickens/th_smallerbrownegg-14days.jpg
By the time you stop turning, all you should be seeing is the airsac... the rest should be crammed with chick!

Sometimes bacteria gets in the egg and kills the embryo.  When this happens, you will sometimes see a BLOOD RING:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k270/vyancey/Chickens/Copyrighted%20photos/th_Bloodring-copyright.jpg
This egg is also at day 8, and was set with the one showing the veins.  It is obvious that this one is not going to hatch.

Last candling should be at day 18, if you're going to do it, because this is the day you stop turning the eggs.  Whether you're using a hatcher or not, that's when you stop turning and raise the humidity and then sit. on. your. hands. and. leave. the. incubator. alone.  Then, if everything goes as planned, somewhere around day 21 there should be little fuzzybutts trying to make their entrance into the world and your heart!

PIP - this usually happens around day 21, and is when the chick first pokes a small hole through the membrane and breaks the shell. 

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k270/vyancey/Chickens/th_11-23-07-51100-rs.jpg

This takes a LOT of effort for this little chick.  (Every time I see the movie "Kill Bill", the scene where she's trying to bust out of the coffin reminds me of what it must be like for these little chicks.  Try doing it with YOUR nose! tongue)
After the pip, it can take either a short time, or a long time for them to zip... it just depends on their energy levels.  I've had quail that took 3 days to zip and hatch after pipping.  Just be patient.  Leave them alone.  Go for a drive.  Go fold laundry.  I know... it's hard.  I'm guilty of multiple nose-smudges on the incubator window.  But the best hatches are usually the ones you come home to. smile

So, now you ask... what is this ZIPPING?
Zipping is where they start at the little pip-hole, and work their way around the egg to create the little trap-door that they push out of. 

Here's a Button quail egg zipping...
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k270/vyancey/Quail/th_P4210013.jpg

It sort of looks like a zipper being unzipped, hence the term, and should occur on the large end of the egg.  Chicks have been known to hatch after pipping/zipping on the pointy-end, but sometimes need a little help.  This also can take 5 minutes, or can take HOURS.  Sometimes it just seems like it takes hours, too. tongue  But if the humidity and temps are in range, then the chick should be able to push out on its own, whether it takes 15 minutes or 3 days.  I firmly believe that a chick NEEDS to do all the pushing and grunting and swearing to get out of the egg.  It's what gets the blood pumping.  A lot of people believe that a chick was not meant to survive if it can't make it out of the egg.  To help or not to help is your choice, but I can vouch for the fact that 95% of the chicks I've had to help had defects that prevented them from thriving anyway.  Sometimes it's best to let Mother Nature take control. 

Here's the growth of a chick from 1 day to 16 weeks old...

Here are some links to photos of egg development:
My favorite site is the University of Nebraska's site .  They have a 'bator-cam that is trained on the incubator so you can watch chicks hatch.  It's great!

More pics here

and here

More helpful information on hatching egg care here  and here

Don't want to buy an incubator?  Want a project you can use as a learning tool for your kids?  Check out Miss Prissy's chick'o'bator ... it can be made with most spare parts found in the garage, and takes only a few hours to put together.  Best of all, it WORKS! celebrate

"Chickens are like potato chips... you can't have just one."  ~ anonymous hatchaholic tongue

post #2 of 81

I love it! big_smile thanks for sharing!!!! My mutt chickens every egg they lay is porus and I wasnt sure if they'd survive in that or not...it's nice to know they should as long as I watch the humidity!!! smile

going to be a mama
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going to be a mama
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post #3 of 81
Thread Starter 

Yay! I've already helped one person! smile I hope more people will add their photos and interesting links on incubating.  There's so much information out there!

post #4 of 81

ROCK ON bird brain! where were you about 23 days ago! lol took a stab in the dark and hatched some cuties yesterday!

The Urban Chicken Shack!
1 7yr Old Boy (going on 20) 2yr old girl,, 1 DH, 5 White Rock & 1 Barred Rock Hen, 1 Dog, and a giant fish tank!
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The Urban Chicken Shack!
1 7yr Old Boy (going on 20) 2yr old girl,, 1 DH, 5 White Rock & 1 Barred Rock Hen, 1 Dog, and a giant fish tank!
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post #5 of 81

useful info and link... should be a sticky:)


Edited by SilverM0on - 1/7/09 at 7:03pm
post #6 of 81

Thanks very much!  I learned a lot from that, and hope to put it to use soon

post #7 of 81

I posted this as a link in the top sticky in this forum called "Read Mes on Hatching.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=48726

post #8 of 81
Thread Starter 

ya  Thank you Terrielacy!

post #9 of 81

Thanks!  Those links are very helpful.  Especially for us newbies.

My family:  1 slightly misguided husband, 2 children (ages 22 & 17), 9 red star hens, 6 americauna hens, 1 light brahma roo, 7 black giants (6 hens and 1 roo), 2 golden sebrights (a hen and a roo), 1 buff cochin roo, 2 mystery banty roos and 3 white rock hens and three goats (1 nanny and 2 billies). RIP my beloved dogs Eboni & Bruno.  New additions: 4 mystery banty hens a Dachshund pup named Lily.
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My family:  1 slightly misguided husband, 2 children (ages 22 & 17), 9 red star hens, 6 americauna hens, 1 light brahma roo, 7 black giants (6 hens and 1 roo), 2 golden sebrights (a hen and a roo), 1 buff cochin roo, 2 mystery banty roos and 3 white rock hens and three goats (1 nanny and 2 billies). RIP my beloved dogs Eboni & Bruno.  New additions: 4 mystery banty hens a Dachshund pup named Lily.
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post #10 of 81

when i candeled my eggs before i put them in the bator..they were very porous looking!....what causes this?..my girls get oyster shell..and all kinds of veggies also...plus their laying pellets....what am i doing wrong?..hmm

I prefer an ugly truth to a pretty lie. If someone is telling me the truth that is when i will give my heart. ~ Jack Nicholson 

Look! A ladder!! Maybe it leads to heaven, or a sandwich... 

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I prefer an ugly truth to a pretty lie. If someone is telling me the truth that is when i will give my heart. ~ Jack Nicholson 

Look! A ladder!! Maybe it leads to heaven, or a sandwich... 

Reply
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