I had a loose hen in the yard that was laying eggs and could not find them. Well, just found them, over a dozen and tried to candle them, but some of the egg shells were so thick, I could not see anything through them. Is that normal?
Is it possible for an egg shell to be too thick to see though when candled?
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
I know very dark eggs, and the green/blue eggs are hard to see through. I've never not been able to see anything, though. I can always see light coming through, even if I can't tell if it's in the early stages of development. Is your light bright enough and is the room dark enough ? is there any light leaking around outside the egg when you candle ? Maybe they are developing ... (do you have a rooster ?) Once they get to about day 17 - they become very dark with just the aircell generally visible.
Edited by DTRM30 - 9/18/12 at 2:02pm
I used to have this same problem until I used a brighter flashlight. I use a pocket light that puts out 210 lumen and my thick shelled brown eggs light up like you wouldn't believe. This is the light I have, it's a Quark MiniX 123. I think I paid about $50 for it. You can get it here for $45 with free shipping. These are simply amazing little lights, I carry mine everywhere. They are about five times brighter than a four D cell maglight!
Edited by cchardwick - 9/18/12 at 7:02pm
I use one similar to that, they have them at harbor freight tools for a dollar, and I end up with coupons to get the light free :)
What color is the shell? The thickness of the shell wouldn't stop light from going in usually, but color can make it hard to see, or even impossible to see without breaking the egg open. If you have a rooster and an incubator you could just incubate it and see if it hatches. if you don't have a rooster just toss the egg. Better safe then sorry.
The shells are a blue green and very thick, about twice the thickness of store bought. I used the harbor freight light in total darkness and still could not see through it! I do have a mag light someone gave me, so will try that. I have a rooster, but the eggs have sat out for about ten days, though the weather has been warm.
I know my dad found a nest of eggs under his house once and no hen around and he left them and they hatched on their own, so figured it would not hurt to let them sit 15 more days and then bury them in the garden. just hate to toss out something if there is a chance it will hatch into a chicken ;-)...
thanks for the advice.
you can check the sticky on hatching and incubating. There is a great thread there with pics of every day of development. I'm guessing that if you have a rooster, then those eggs are developing. If it were me, I'd check again with a brighter light. You should be able to see the air cell either way - at the larger end of the egg. That is where you place the light. Check out the sticky though - it has great info to help you determine if the eggs are bad or have chicks growing.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=261876 - pics of egg development progression by day
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=119420 - info on candling