Candling photos and stages of development- info compilation (pics!)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Mrs MIA, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    With Spring around the corner all thoughts are turning to ......... hatching chicks! [​IMG] For the members that are old hands at this, please feel free to add your candling photos, or photos of chicks that quit before hatching that you decided to take photos of. For the newbies, welcome to the chicken addiction! [​IMG] Here is a quick rundown on some of the terms you will hear thrown around regarding hatching, and what you can expect from your first hatching project.

    First... the terminology...

    CANDLING - this is the method for seeing into a developing egg. Usually people will use a pen-light in a dark room, and shine the light down on the large end of the egg to see what's happening inside. Some eggs are harder to see into, such as the marans or ameraucana eggs. But white and brown eggs are easy to see into. Here's a fresh egg.
    (click on photos to enlarge)
    If you have eggs shipped in, you will want to do a quick candling on them to make sure there are no cracks. Finely cracked eggs can hatch, either left alone or sealed up with a bit of plain wax. The candler in this picture is made from a porcelain ceiling socket under a large metal coffee can.
    [​IMG] The boys made it for me, and it works great.
    Do a search here on BYC for other ideas on homemade candlers if you don't want to buy one. [​IMG]

    POROUS shell: a shell with larger than normal holes in it; looks like this:
    Porous eggs will hatch just as well as others. However, it is believed that a lot more moisture can be lost through the shell this way, and the humidity might need to be increased to compensate. If you notice the airsac getting really large really fast, you might try raising the humidity 5%.

    If all goes well, by day 7-8, you should see VEINS like this:
    This is an egg on day 8. Usually starting at day 3 in the incubation process, you will start to see actual faint veins. Sometimes it will take a little longer for them to develop... be patient, let it happen. I think a good number of people will candle the first time at day 7, and mark a "?" on any eggs that they're not sure about. If, at day 7, your egg still looks like the fresh egg above, then it is probably not going to hatch and can be removed. Some people like to leave them in a little longer, and candle again at day 14, or even day 18 before putting the eggs in the hatcher, and then make the decision to remove. However, the rule of thumb is a) if it's smelly, or b) if it's weeping - throw it out! It may explode if left in the incubator, and it will ruin the entire hatch.

    Here's an egg on day 10:

    By day 14, the egg should look like this:
    By the time you stop turning, all you should be seeing is the airsac... the rest should be crammed with chick!

    Sometimes bacteria gets in the egg and kills the embryo. When this happens, you will sometimes see a BLOOD RING:

    This egg is also at day 8, and was set with the one showing the veins. It is obvious that this one is not going to hatch.

    Last candling should be at day 18, if you're going to do it, because this is the day you stop turning the eggs. Whether you're using a hatcher or not, that's when you stop turning and raise the humidity and then sit. on. your. hands. and. leave. the. incubator. alone. Then, if everything goes as planned, somewhere around day 21 there should be little fuzzybutts trying to make their entrance into the world and your heart!

    PIP - this usually happens around day 21, and is when the chick first pokes a small hole through the membrane and breaks the shell.


    This takes a LOT of effort for this little chick. (Every time I see the movie "Kill Bill", the scene where she's trying to bust out of the coffin reminds me of what it must be like for these little chicks. Try doing it with YOUR nose! [​IMG])
    After the pip, it can take either a short time, or a long time for them to zip... it just depends on their energy levels. I've had quail that took 3 days to zip and hatch after pipping. Just be patient. Leave them alone. Go for a drive. Go fold laundry. I know... it's hard. I'm guilty of multiple nose-smudges on the incubator window. But the best hatches are usually the ones you come home to. [​IMG]

    So, now you ask... what is this ZIPPING?
    Zipping is where they start at the little pip-hole, and work their way around the egg to create the little trap-door that they push out of.

    Here's a Button quail egg zipping...

    It sort of looks like a zipper being unzipped, hence the term, and should occur on the large end of the egg. Chicks have been known to hatch after pipping/zipping on the pointy-end, but sometimes need a little help. This also can take 5 minutes, or can take HOURS. Sometimes it just seems like it takes hours, too. [​IMG] But if the humidity and temps are in range, then the chick should be able to push out on its own, whether it takes 15 minutes or 3 days. I firmly believe that a chick NEEDS to do all the pushing and grunting and swearing to get out of the egg. It's what gets the blood pumping. A lot of people believe that a chick was not meant to survive if it can't make it out of the egg. To help or not to help is your choice, but I can vouch for the fact that 95% of the chicks I've had to help had defects that prevented them from thriving anyway. Sometimes it's best to let Mother Nature take control.

    Here's the growth of a chick from 1 day to 16 weeks old...

    Here are some links to photos of egg development:
    My favorite site is the University of Nebraska's site . They have a 'bator-cam that is trained on the incubator so you can watch chicks hatch. It's great!

    More pics here

    and here

    More helpful information on hatching egg care here and here

    Don't want to buy an incubator? Want a project you can use as a learning tool for your kids? Check out Miss Prissy's chick'o'bator ... it can be made with most spare parts found in the garage, and takes only a few hours to put together. Best of all, it WORKS! [​IMG]

    "Chickens are like potato chips... you can't have just one." ~ anonymous hatchaholic [​IMG]
    5 people like this.
  2. monarc23

    monarc23 Coturnix Obsessed

    Jul 18, 2008
    Indiana, Pennsylvania
    I love it! [​IMG] thanks for sharing!!!! My mutt chickens every egg they lay is porus and I wasnt sure if they'd survive in that or's nice to know they should as long as I watch the humidity!!! [​IMG]
  3. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    Yay! I've already helped one person! [​IMG] I hope more people will add their photos and interesting links on incubating. There's so much information out there!
  4. aliena614

    aliena614 Songster

    May 17, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    ROCK ON bird brain! where were you about 23 days ago! lol took a stab in the dark and hatched some cuties yesterday!
  5. SilverM0on

    SilverM0on Songster

    Dec 5, 2008
    useful info and link... should be a sticky:)
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Thanks very much! I learned a lot from that, and hope to put it to use soon
  7. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member Premium Member 11 Years

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
  8. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    [​IMG] Thank you Terrielacy!
  9. Macy

    Macy In the Brooder

    Aug 27, 2008
    Thanks! Those links are very helpful. Especially for us newbies.
  10. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    when i candeled my eggs before i put them in the bator..they were very porous looking!....what causes this? girls get oyster shell..and all kinds of veggies their laying pellets....what am i doing wrong?..[​IMG]

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