Hatching Eggs That Are Hard to Candle

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickmanna, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. chickmanna

    chickmanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We will be setting our first ever batch of eggs this weekend. I've been reading up on candling. I think I've got the basic idea, but wondered how to figure out what's going on with eggs like Marans. Aren't they too dark to be candled? Are there any other ways to determine whether they are developing? Does weight change, etc.? I wouldn't be too worried about it except I have read several places about the dreaded exploding egg in the bator.

    Also do you experienced hatchers out there check eggs with magnifier to look for little cracks? (All our eggs are being shipped). Would candling reveal small cracks?
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  2. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    You can candle Maran eggs but you need a very bright light. Yes if there is a crack and you candle the eggs you will be able to see the crack. I check shipped eggs for cracks. I have had a couple slip through and they hatched.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    I bought an LED Lensor from Home Depot. ($50) I have no problem candling Marans eggs.
     
  4. Me & Jack

    Me & Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gosh, I think Marans would definitely be more challenging to candle than white or light eggs. I can candle on Day 2 and give a positive for fertility, although I never throw any out until day five or six. With dark eggs, I think I'd be looking for the air sac more than anything, and after ten days or so I would expect it to have shrunk a decent enough amount that you might be able to tell. Would mean penciling in an outline of the original air sac on Day 1 and following up on day five and then again at day ten or twelve. Just my thoughts, but I can't say for sure having never candle dark eggs. Good luck!
     
  5. john155

    john155 New Egg

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  6. chickmanna

    chickmanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess I just assumed they would be too dark. Thanks for the info.
     
  7. chickmanna

    chickmanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    John155, check out the BYC auctions, there are several varieties of Marans currently available.
     
  8. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes, the weight of a developing egg does change, and yes, you can use this fact to check development! A fertile egg developing correctly should lose 13% of its starting weight by day 18, and some people use this knowledge to gauge correct humidity and correct moisture loss. I've been weighing all my hatching eggs for years, not just dark ones, as it's such an easy way to figure out correct humidity.

    The problem using it with eggs you can't see into is that without candling, you won't be sure whether they've started developing in the first place or not. Non-fertile eggs will lose weight much more slowly than fertile and developing ones, but so will eggs that are being incubated in a far-too-high humidity, so without some previous experience of incubating and ideas of what's likely to be a suitable humidity, the weighing thing might not help you much...

    I wouldn't worry too much about exploding eggs though, as I don't think it's all that common. It's just that it's such a vile thing to happen that any time one person experiences it and posts about it on here, a dozen other people will immediately chime in with their horror stories. I've only ever had one rotten egg, and it didn't actually explode on me. I just cracked it open to see why it hadn't hatched and found a black stinky mush inside. By all accounts, if a rotten egg is anywhere near to exploding you won't be able to miss the smell of it, so giving the air vents of your bator a good deep sniff every day should be enough to identify the risk of a potential stinkbomb...
     
  9. chickmanna

    chickmanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Gypsy07. I do have a thermometer/hygrometer to keep track of humidity in the incubator. I was planning on following the incubator instructions which say 40-45% for the first 18 days. But I've been seeing a lot of posts here that indicate people have good luck and increased hatching rate with a "dry" method. Sounds like you've hatched your fair share of eggs - what do you do?
     
  10. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I set a batch marans eggs into lockdown yesterday. I use a regular led light. I can't usually see much going on in the eggs. If I see a dark mass inside the egg that makes it totally impossible to see through it I figure that is a good sign
    [​IMG]
    If the whole egg kinda glows without a dark mass I figure it is a dud.
    I must warn you about candling too often. For me it did more damage than good. When I candle I don't pick up the eggs. Just set the light on top and see if anything is happening. It is so hard to leave them alone but hey.. in 3 weeks if they hatch then you know they were developing. [​IMG]
    Just my opinion.... those little veins and stuff are delicate. I don't like to bother them too much.
     

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