This has been my first year with chickens. Started out with 6 golden wyndottes and then added 3 dominique hens and rooster. Dogs got 2 of the dominique hens and then the last one died last night - she got sick. I have the roo and 2 golden hens left. It's not been a good year. One of the goldens died last month like the dominique did last night. The others got done in by dogs. (not my dogs) Anyways.... I happened to walk past the "goat house" one afternoon earlier this month and discovered 3 eggs in a "nest" in there. Picked them up and brought them in the house. Feeling bummed about losing so many of my hens - I decided to try to hatch them. More of an eperiement really. I set up a box with a heat lamp on it in the basement on Dec. 4th with the 3 eggs I found and then also I took 4 eggs I had collected and put in the fridge before they stopped laying when fall hit. I ended up candling the 3 eggs I found and only one still looked OK so I put this and the other 4 in my heat lamp set-up. After a week I candled them all and did not see anything different in them. I set them all back under the heat lamp and figured I would just let it keep going "just in case" - and THEN my husband accidently knocked the heat lamp off and it landed on the eggs and I had to throw away 2 that were smooshed. They didn't looke fertile or were just not developing from the looks of them. I left the remaining eggs under the lamp and kinda half-gave up on things but left it running. I decided to would candle the eggs again this afternoon just to see if MAYBE anything was developing. Two of the eggs looked the same as before - just an air sack and yolk. The third egg though is completely dark and I can't really see anything at all. So now for anyone who read all this - does the dark egg mean there is a chick inside there afterall?? Christmas will be the 21st day.... I could not make out an air sack or anything. The egg is brown and not white if that makes a difference in seeing anything.