My disclaimer first: I've never hatched eggs before. I've never candled eggs before. My hen has never been broody before. I have never bought eggs via the mail before. I am totally winging it... and occasionally catching great tips from BYC posts in time to use them. I bought 7 BC Marans eggs in an auction, got them expressed to me within 24 hours and didn't know to let them settle for a few hours... I just put them right under my hen. She was a happy, pancake-of-a-hen sitting on them. She eats, drinks and poops... rarely leaves the nest though. On Day 7 (March 5th) my four kids and I candled the eggs in a dark room using a mini mag lite flash light. Those dark shells made it really, realy difficult to know what we were seeing. And, of course, it was all new to us, so that added to our uncertainty. Results: 5 maybes (unable to see veining, an embreyo or heartbeat... but they looked possible)..... 1 was definitely fertile (bobbing dark spot within the dark area) and one was a dud (clear inside, extremely freckled, no air sack or mass). We cracked that one later and it was just an unfertilized egg. I wasn't able to take pictures because I didn't have a candling set up... and I'm not sure that the dark marans eggs would have photographed well. I'm optimistic about this bunch. I have a ton of faith in my hen (a cuckoo marans) - she just gives off those vibes of a hen who instinctively knows how to take care of business. I hope that I get at least one little chick for her. Tango is a very sweet hen. I'm planning on candling these eggs again at Day 14 (which will be Thursday 3/12) - I'll try for pictures this time! Wish us luck!