Confused newbie

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by EmptyNesterNoMore, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. EmptyNesterNoMore

    EmptyNesterNoMore Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    22
    Oct 14, 2009
    It has been 5 days since we set eggs in our incubator:). Because it said we could check the white eggs after 4 days, we did, but I really am not sure what we are seeing. [​IMG] First of all..what is the dark area at the end of all of the eggs? Is that the yolk and the rest is the air pocket? It looks like that dark area is growing. I am unsure if I see the spidery veins but don't want to give up just yet.. I did a lot of research before we did this but the dark area is REALLY confusing me.[​IMG] I really appreciate any advice.
     
  2. CheerfulHeart2

    CheerfulHeart2 Creative Problem Solver

    Apr 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    This is out of my expertise, but good luck.
     
  3. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    It is best to wait until day 10 to check, especially if this is your very first time. Have patience now, it will take a little more time. [​IMG]
     
  4. NancyP

    NancyP Chillin' With My Peeps

    918
    0
    139
    Mar 28, 2009
    Bonifay,Florida
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,703
    45
    228
    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    It's hard to say just from a description, but your eggs sound normal for Day 4. And yes, you'll be able to see much more at Day 10. Experienced candlers can begin to see something at Day 3, SOMETIMES, but if you don't know what you're looking at, it's nearly impossible to tell. I still tend to candle my eggs too early and then fret because I can't see anything yet! lol

    Anyway, what you will see is:

    * A white area that is simply the egg white, waiting to be absorbed & filled up with chick as it grows. That's the light area you're seeing. Toward the end of incubation, it will be nearly, if not completely, dark. This area should be at the bottom (pointy end) of the egg. Of course you should be keeping your eggs in the incubator with the pointy end *down* if you're using an egg turner. If you're just laying them on their sides, then they will naturally lean so that the pointy end is mostly downward.

    * A darker area that is the yolk. Right now it's probably somewhat circular in there, but it will change shape as the embryo grows, and eventually will look almost two-lobed, like a pair of lungs or something. Eventually it will basically merge with the embryo and you won't be able to tell where it is. This section will be roughly in the middle of the egg, but don't fret if it's nearer to one end than the other.

    * An air cell, that is small and clear at the top of the egg (that is, the large end of the egg). This will be very small in the early part of incubation and will gradually grow. It will be visible right up until hatching time, when the baby pokes a hole through the membrane into the air cell and eventually pushes its head in, basically at that point filling up the entire egg.

    * Around Day 7-10 (earlier if you're experienced), veins and possibly an embryo. These will start at the border of the air cell, and move outward in a roughly round shape (don't let the roundness of the edge of the veined area scare you into thinking you're seeing a "blood ring"--a blood ring is different, and won't ever have veins in it), down toward and into the yolk. The embryo, if visible, will be a dark area near the center of the veined area, up near the air cell. You may be able to see a tiny heart beating, or the embryo "swimming," if you watch carefully and know what you're looking at. Don't worry if you can't see the embryo until later in development--it can hide [​IMG]. The embryo and veins will grow and fill more and more of the egg as it develops.

    Eventually, the entire egg will simply begin to look very dark, as the chick begins to fill more and more space and block more and more light. I can usually see veins up around the air cell right up until the last day or two.

    It gets MUCH easier as you get more experience. It also matters a lot how bright your light is AND how dark your room is. I always candle at night, in the darkest room of the house, with the brightest flashlight I can find. It makes a HUGE difference. Often, things that are completely invisible during the day become quite obvious at night. Occasionally, I'll freak myself out by trying to candle in the middle of the day and it will look like an egg has suddenly quit and everything's disappeared, because I can't see any of what I saw in the same egg the night before. Then I remember that it's daytime, and stop worrying. [​IMG]

    Good luck!
     
  6. EmptyNesterNoMore

    EmptyNesterNoMore Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    22
    Oct 14, 2009
    Thanks so much for the responses. I have promised myself to wait and check them next week....in the darkest room of the house....in the deep of night...with my very brightest flashlight...while crossing all my fingers... and toes.[​IMG] (I just want this to work soooooo bad....)
     
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,824
    1,299
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Even at Day 10 I still couldn't see into some of mine. (but I'm hatching some dark welsummer eggs) I left them in the bator and checked again at Day 12 and saw lots more movement. I still have some ? eggs, but I'm not taking them out since I'm not experienced at this.
     
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,824
    1,299
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Oh, forgot to add. Shine the light, then let your eyes adjust. And I don't know if this is normal or not (my first hatch) but I had luck searching by the air sac. I would shine my light to light up the air sac, and I would see movement along the border of it.

    I started looking and seeing movement at Day 9, but some I didn't see movement until Day 12. Every couple days, I candle the ? eggs and so far I'm seeing more of them with movement.
     
  9. EmptyNesterNoMore

    EmptyNesterNoMore Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    22
    Oct 14, 2009
    It is day 10 so I couldn't wait.[​IMG] I really wanted to candle so I could see if it was happening or not. [​IMG] I was in a pitch dark closet with a bright led flashlight. I had the light in a shoebox with a hole at one end for the egg to sit on.

    Truly..I just wasn't seeing what I think I am supposed to be seeing. There are 9 white eggs and while there was one that was really clear (must not have been successful) and maybe, just maybe one that looked like something was moving...but I don't know. Seems like all I can see for sure is a large percentage of the inside as a dark area (which has been getting bigger since the start of incubation). If this is the yolk, will it continue to grow even if there is no embryo?

    I can only see the increasingly dark area on the brown eggs. Why can't I see anything else? It just seems so very very dark.

    My temp has been steady and I have the eggs on a turner. While I did not check the eggs to see if they were fertilized before I set them in the incubator (probably wouldn't have been able to see that either,) I really feel confident they all were.

    Why is that dark area getting bigger? My husband thinks I am just cooking up a bunch of eggs with very large yolks (but if that were the case, why is the one egg pretty much clear? Shouldn't it have a yolk also????) I would appreciate any input.[​IMG]
     
  10. carriehelene

    carriehelene Chillin' With My Peeps

    566
    1
    141
    Feb 9, 2009
    Capital Region NY
    By day 10, it's usually pretty obvious when you have a clear egg. That's what it sounds like you are seeing on the one egg. I've done brown eggs before, never could see clearly inside them, or the green eggs. Lighter colored eggs, you can see them growing. If you hold still long enough, quite often you can see them moving in there also. Looks like a floating lima bean. Try candling without the shoe box, it's much easier for me to see, when candling, just using a bright flashlight. Just be extra careful not to drop it.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by