Handling eggs for candling


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
Kuna, Idaho
Help! I have a BR hen setting on 14 eggs, about a week. I want to candle the eggs & dispose of the infertile / dead eggs but I don't want to disturb her off the nest, or break her brooding behavior. How am I supposed to do that? Also, what's the best way to mark the eggs so I don't miss any, or can I pulled them all out & check them all at the same time? Oh Lord! It's easier just to ignore them & be surprised! Thanks, Mick


10 Years
Apr 12, 2009
West Virginia
Well, that is what I am doing. I have 14 Serama eggs under Big Momma, I have not taken one look at them. Although I know many DO look at them, with no harm done.

But I have killed so many little eggies in my incubator, that I thought I would just keep hands off and let Big Momma take care of them.

Good luck with your eggs.



10 Years
May 15, 2009
Malvern, Arkansas
I have a broody hatching chicks right now! I have done nothing with the eggs except to make sure she didn't have more than what she started with. I marked each original egg with an X and would check for any new eggs. I would peek at her nest only when she was off of it. At day 16 there was an egg that looked like she had smashed it to smitherines, only a bit of crushed shell left. I took that to mean that she culled it because it was bad and I left the clutch alone. I did not clean the nest or the eggs. I didn't even touch them. She had 2 dead chicks partially hatch yesterday. She pushed those out to the side of the nest and my husband buried them. This morning when he checked her she had 3 live, dry fluffy chicks that she pushed forward to my husband. She is still sitting on the other 6 eggs. I left this totally up to nature and my broody and I am glad that I did.



11 Years
Aug 2, 2008
South Central KY
I check under mine every day and remove extras laid by the other hens. Otherwise, you get eggs that hatch on days 21 and 22, (maybe 23 if you're lucky) then mom needs to get off the nest with the hatched chicks. All the rest, due to hatch days 23, 24, 25, and so on, with die in the shell. Unless you have another hen ready to take the eggs. Then you still have the same problem, repeated with a new hen.

I mark my eggs with a sharpie, it won't rub off under the hen, and no, it will not soak through the shell.

My hens continue to brood even though I pick them up off the nest for a minute, every single day. Longer, if there's a broken egg or other mess to clean up. Read some of the posts from people trying to get a hen to quit being broody, you'll see it takes a lot more than just checking the eggs every day.

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