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Candling - Do I really have to?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ChickBond 007, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. ChickBond 007

    ChickBond 007 Licensed to Cull

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    Today is day 10, and I have attempted to candle some eggs. The very dark eggs, Welsummers and Wheaton Marans, I cannot see at all except possibly the air cell. Some of the orps I can see darkness below the cell, but really can't identify veining. In some of the ducks, I think I see an ugly blood blob, and one definately had a blood ring.
    So my mag lite is too weak evidently even though I locked myself in a dark closet. My eggs are getting cold while I try to decide what I'm seeing.
    What's the harm of just not candling? Can I just "follow my nose" and sniff out a bad egg instead of candling? It seems like such a guessing game and I feel frustrated with it. [​IMG]
     
  2. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Quote:DO you have to candle? Of course not. In fact there are some compelling reasons not to.

    So look at it this way - what can you change if you do? Unless the eggs are diseased (and that becomes obvious soon enough), what difference does it make if you know viables from clears? Think back to a time when there were no Mag-lites or hi-intensity electric candlers. People managed to get by on other methods.

    You have set the wheels in motion by setting the eggs in the first place. Give each egg its space and don't crowd them in the 'bator. Remove weeping, smelly eggs that are obviously in distress, or candle specifically for the red ring of bacterial death. As for the others?

    You can't make them fertile if they are not already, so let Nature take it's course.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:DO you have to candle? Of course not. In fact there are some compelling reasons not to.

    But look at it this way - what can you change if you do? Unless the eggs are diseased (and that becomes obvious soon enough), what difference does it make if you know viables from clears?

    You have set the wheels in motion by setting the eggs in the first place. Be patient and remove only weeping, smelly eggs that are obviously in distress. As for the others?

    You can't make them fertile if they are not already, so let Nature take it's course.

    Yup, Davaroo is right. You don't have to candle, and let your nose be your guide.
     
  4. CritterHill

    CritterHill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ooh, that's good to hear. I have a few eggs under a broody and I was afraid she would claw my eyes out if I tried to get them out from under her!

    (no, not really, but she certainly sounds like she would give it a good go!)
     
  5. ChickBond 007

    ChickBond 007 Licensed to Cull

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    Whew... thank you. I did not need the additional pressure. Just trying to up my hatch percentage from 9% last time, and afraid to cull eggs anyway.
     
  6. SunnyChic

    SunnyChic Keep The Sunny Side Up

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    [​IMG] Good luck with your hatch, 2009NewChickMom! I'm thinking about you and wishing you the best. Culling eggs scares me to death, too!
     
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Every time I try to candle with a high-intensity Mag Light I gain even more appreciation for the chicken-keepers of old who actually used real candles to candle eggs. I don't know how the heck they were able to do it.

    I don't bother my broodies by candling their eggs. I've done it a few times, primarily for my children to see & be awed.
     
  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Quote:Want a good hatch? Secure good stock.

    Most failures in the incubator start with the parent stock.
    Oh, some can be blamed on faulty handling, as in shipping. And a ham fisted incubator operator can muck things up pretty good, no doubt there.

    But all things being equal, it is the health, vigor and fertility of the parent stock that sets the stage for good hatchability.

    I'll go out on a limb and say that a 9% hatch rate was either the result of poor stock management or bad incubation practice.
     
  9. ChickBond 007

    ChickBond 007 Licensed to Cull

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    Quote:I'd go out on the same limb and say:
    I think my temps were 1 degree low at 98.5, my humidity was too high at 46% on days 1-18, and first time learning experience, I feel lucky to have even hatched one egg with shipped eggs.
     
  10. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Quote:I'd go out on the same limb and say:
    I think my temps were 1 degree low at 98.5, my humidity was too high at 46% on days 1-18, and first time learning experience, I feel lucky to have even hatched one egg with shipped eggs.

    Sounds like more than a few things were conspiring against your success. Its like that, especially for new hatcherists. I'm surprised I managed any my first times, too [​IMG]
    That you did 9% of eggs set and are still in the game says much about your tenacity.

    Actually, I wouldnt worry over the 46% humidity. That aint bad an I've had tremendous hatches with that level. In fact I shoot for something between 40-50% Rh and feel content when I get it.

    I also go for 100 degrees, even, these days. There are way to many variables, especially in small incubators, to fuss over that half a degree. In grandpas day, it was recommended to run at 104 degress with frequent cooling periods, so there is some latitude.
    Im convinced that 99.5 business is the result of lab work, not basement hatching.

    Shipping eggs is also fraught with peril. I've done it a lot, enough to know that there are two strikes against it:

    1. Handling in transit.
    Everything from knocking about to serious temperature extremes are tossed at the eggs. When shipment of eggs first began in the 20th century, there was care exercised in handling, since there were people involved - people who knew what was at stake.
    Today, packages get no human care, except maybe at either end. Maybe.

    2. Breeding is out of your control.
    You cannot see the stock, you cannot observe the records or practices of the breeder. You take him or her at her word, unless you have the recommendation of others to go on. You are hard pressed to know what goes in or out of the parent stock. Your 9% could have been the result of a low fertility rate - how were you to know going in?

    But you are determined and that is good. Once you settle on your methods, breeds and breeder that give you good results, things will look up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009

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