I'm so confused! I've been reading posts and webpages about candling eggs, but I feel more confused now than before. I candled my eggs around day 7 or 8 and I have no idea what's going on. Most of my eggs are darker (blue), so I don't know if that's the issue. When will the air sac be present? Is it always there in good eggs? Does it get smaller or larger w/time? I think only one of my lighter eggs had an air sac. I'm going to try again tonight (day 10)...when do I have to worry about bad eggs exploding? Thanks so much!
Candling eggs, air sac? help!
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I can usually see all of the airsacs at first candeling- day 7 or 8. Pretty sure they stay the same size throughout incubation. I don't think you'd have any exploding eggs yet- it hasn't been too long- and you'd smell something awful before it got that far.
You should be able to see some veining going on. I have all brown eggs- and it has to be totally dark in the room. I wait about 1/2 a minute for my eyes to adjust before trying to look at the eggs. I had a really hard time at first too- but then all of a sudden I could see it- like one of those goofy 3D pictures.
Air cells are a result of air exchange. It's kind of like putting a balloon in a cardboard box and coming back to check on it a week later. Now the size of the air pocket will depend on the amount of humidity/air flow/pourocity of the shell, but it will be there. If your shells are dark and thick it will be harder to see what is going on, but the air cell itself should be evident because light will go through an empty space differently than a space filled with the mass of the egg. You may want to hold off on candling till day 14. Then you should be able to judge things based on seeing movement. You may want to take a second look at what you are using to candle though to see if it has enough power to do the job. I ues a 150wt light in a coffee can with a hole the size of a half dollar cut in the top. Some people don't candle at all unless something smells bad or is cracked.
I wouldn't take anything out on day 10 unless I knew for 100% it was bad.
We have Silkie/Orpington eggs that are due to hatch soon. I've candled them a few times throughout incubation, and I did notice that the air sack seemed to be a little bit larger. It might have been my imagination.
I also saw the blood veins in the egg, but I have not seen a whole lot of movement inside the eggs. Only movement like something was floating inside there. The eggs are certainly alive; they're on day 19 now. This is our first hatch!
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The air cell should get larger the longer they are set. Were these eggs shipped? If so, the air cells could be on the side, making it difficult to find it. Also, since you say that some of them are blue, that would also make them more difficult to see.
You can actually kind of judge how 'far along' the egg is by the size of the air cell.....
Edited by shelleyd2008 - 5/26/09 at 8:37pm
Shelley THANK YOU!! I have been trying to candle my first hatching attempt and couldn't figure out what the heck I was seeing. Those pictures give me hope that there may actually be life in my eggs. One question, though. Why the two different looks of 14 day eggs? Most of mine seem to have an air cell at the top and an empty space at the bottom, too. They look more like the first 14 day pic than the second.
I just bought a small high-powered flashlight so I can really see what's going on in the eggs. The one I've been using just isn't strong enough to be sure. One more look and then I'll leave them alone until they either hatch or start to stink.
I think the pictures for the two 14 day candlings got labeled wrong.
I candle chicken eggs by day 10 or 11, pretty much half way into the incubation. If I see a dark mass and an air pocket, I'll keep the egg in the incubator and most likely it will hatch. If I see a clear egg, I toss it. If I see some which I'm unsure about I leave them for acouple of days and then re-candle.
If I can remember, I'll try to take pictures of candling my eggs. (Either that or look at some I've taken before)
We have acouple Auracana layers and their shells can be very dark sometimes, so I try to pre-candle the eggs before incubating them so that I'll know whether I should be able to easily tell which egg is growing and which is not. I would suggest that if you can't see through the egg shell before you start incubating, you shouldn't use that egg unless you have to. It'll make it much easier on you if you know you'll be able to see through the egg shell.