Candling eggs without removing from bator... ?


10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
Charlotte, NC Area
I have hatched duck eggs before, but this is my first batch of chicken eggs. They are tiny, white-shelled bantams, and candling has been much easier than with duck eggs because the shell is so much more transparent.

But I was surprised this afternoon when I shone a flashlight into my locked-down incubator and saw the outline of the air cell in one of the eggs. I quickly figured out that if I shine the flashlight in there at just the right angle, I can see air cell, veins, and even movement.

Anyone else ever done this before?

It's giving me ideas--would it be possible to design the lighting in a home-made incubator so that you could switch "candling lights" on and off that would allow you to look inside your eggs without taking them out of the incubator? Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to do this during lockdown?

Anyway--it's very cool and I'm enjoying watching the dark chick grow, filling up to the bottom of the air cell, blocking my view of the veins, and also watching one of them (that already fills the entire egg except the air cell) probe around the bottom of the air cell--I think it's going to be the first to pip.
What a FANTASTIC idea! I bet there's a way to rig some super powerful blind-you-for-life lights right under the mesh and wire them to a toggle switch on the lid. I may have to do this on the upcoming bator project.
of course that's an amazing idea heather, but it would be much easier to make it using egg carton, just put an egg carton, make hole below and put very bright bulb/torch under it and that's all. is that like that?
I may be way off, but couldn't you use a laser pointer? If you shine them at say a lightbulb, there is a whole lot of reflection; I use an infrared with laser thermometer in my bator, so this wouldn't be that difficult to integrate;

Or would this fry the eggs/radiation poisoning?
laser is only focused light so there will be no harm like radiation for them since no laser spread radiation.

fry? laser is not hot enough to fry them if only use for some seconds. in case the laser you use is laser that many people use to point something in presentation at work.
Cool ideas! I just have an ordinary Hovabator with the two windows in the top. It is quite a feat to get that flashlight shining at just the right angle, and only one egg is very clear, though I can get an image of the air cell border in all of them. The one I can see clearly is pipped internally now--I can see a little beak poking up into the air cell! It's TOO cool.

Okay, I like the egg carton idea, but you'd have to have a way to get light under each part of the egg carton without opening--could you make the floor of the incubator out of a clear material instead of solid? And then you could just shine a flashlight as mulia suggests.

In a cabinet incubator, maybe you could rig something under the egg trays? I don't know, I can't quite envision it yet, but I would love to see it done. It would probably help allay some of the hatching-day jitters we all experience, plus it would help us to know when it's time to help out if a chick is in distress.

I don't have a laser pointer, but I'm intrigued--have you candled with a laser before? How does it compare to candling with LEDs or standard flashlight bulb? And Rogue Woman--I can't wait to see what you rig up!

P.S. Edited to add--I want one of the bators that muddstopper & cbiblis are rigging up. I wonder if this could be added to one of their 96-egg bators?
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