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Candling Eggs

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cluckcluckgirl, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop

    Jun 16, 2012
    Tending to my chickens
    I read on a couple sites that when you candle an egg, it will be translucent if fertile. I candled our eggs (none have been incubated, just sitting on the counter) and a couple were translucent. Does it mean they're fertile? Also, is it true that a chicken can continue to lay fertile eggs up to a week after mating once?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I’m sorry, no. You were wise to check up on that. Translucent does not mean fertile. If you look through this thread you can see photos of the bull’s eye which is how you know an egg is fertile. There is no way this shows up when candling.

    Fertile Egg Photos

    It takes about 25 hours for an egg to make it through the hen’s internal laying factory. That egg can only be fertilized in the first 5 minutes of that journey. So if a mating takes place on a Sunday, Sunday’s egg is certainly not fertile. Monday’s egg might be, depending on when it started its journey and when the mating took place. Tuesday’s egg is almost certainly fertile. If it is not, there is something else going on. Notice this is after a successful mating. A rooster does not necessarily mate with every hen in his flock every day.

    You can sort of count on most hens remaining fertile for two weeks after a mating. They are living animals so this part cannot be as precise as the first part. Occasionally a hen may lose fertility after maybe nine days but you can usually count on two weeks. It’s possible she can remain fertile for a bit longer than three weeks, but that is not real common.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    You can only tell if an egg is fertile by cracking it open or incubating it.

    If you have a rooster with your hens, less than 15 hens per roo, chances are quite high your eggs are fertile.

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