How do you tell if incubating eggs are bad?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Naamahbengals, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Naamahbengals

    Naamahbengals Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, my beautiful Silkie rooster died a week and a half ago. So I collected all the eggs in the coop to incubate, for the chance I'd get another roo. (My first and only hatching last spring produced all pullets.) Well... for a month before that, I hadn't collected eggs; we've had an ongoing family emergency and I've been so busy... and my hens had been laying on and off anyway, so it wasn't as many eggs as you might think. But there was still a good sized pileup of eggs between five adult hens. I tossed the ones that looked or felt... maybe not so good, but gently washed and put the rest (30 or so) in the incubator a few days ago. I'm crossing my fingers that *some* of them will be recent and viable!

    So now I'm wondering - how do I weed out the dead ones as time goes on, and keep the good ones? I am absolutely terrible at candling; I tried last time I incubated chicks using a little LED and darkness and I either couldn't see through the thick shells or I'd see nothing, just an even glow. This was during the first week so maybe there was just nothing for me to see? It is 2 days into incubation now, and I can tell that at least one egg is dead (probably a lot more), because there's a puff of slightly-off air when I open the incubator to turn the eggs. I'm worried that dead eggs will effect the live ones (bacteria? releasing something?), and I don't want it to smell weird, too! So aside from candeling, is there a good way to tell a rotten egg from a live one?
     
  2. handyman42

    handyman42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First off I'd say maybe a brighter light, plus LED's have a blue tint so that might effect your ability to see clearly. Secondly if candling isn't really your strong-suit then perhaps just leaving all eggs in the bator and just seeing what hatches. The only positive way I know of telling a healthy fertilized egg from a dead or unfertilized egg is candling. Good Luck Though, Hope you get a Roo.
     
  3. Avlana

    Avlana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd wait a few days and candle again. At least till day 5-7. If you smell a rotten egg somewhere in the bator, pick each one up and smell them. It's pretty easy to pinpoint which could be rotten. You'll want to toss those as they can explode or leak and infect the healthy eggs.

    When candling, use a bright light. Practice makes perfect. You should soon see veins or even embryos dancing around. I can usually see movement. Allow more time for growth. But for now, throw out the rotten eggs and toss clear eggs you see upon candling after 5-7 days of incubation. Good luck!
     
    2 people like this.
  4. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    Everything she said. For me, since I have a really sensitive nose (which is not a blessing, I assure you), smelling can often be the make or break it with an egg. But unless they smell bad, I'd leave any you have in there, in there for now. Can't hurt, and you wouldn't want to toss anything too early.
     
  5. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only thing I can add to the very excellent advice already given above is next time don't wash the eggs. Eggs have a protective coating called "bloom" on them that keeps out bacteria. When you wash them you wash away this protection and make it easier for bacteria to get inside.

    Good luck with your hatch. I hope you get a little roo just as beautiful as his daddy. [​IMG]
     
    Makiah Porter and Pathfinders like this.
  6. Naamahbengals

    Naamahbengals Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Got a stronger led light - that made all the difference! 11 eggs with nice blood systems at day 7. :) 28 non-viable.... but not bad considering how long they sat before the incubator, and how long it had been since the hens were bred last. Most were infertile, a couple blood rings (those made me sad, almost-chicks!), several fully dark eggs, a couple that looked like the yoke was broken, and 3 almost-bombs. (Glad I got those out of there!)

    7 green eggs, and 4 light brown ones. I'm breeding away from the brown so I'll sell those chicks, or grow them for meat birds to eat myself. (I haven't eaten my own birds yet, but... I'll have to start sometime!

    So, if anyone wants black-fleshed chicks (White Silkie Roo x EE hens), let me know. :) I'll have a few extra.
     
  7. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How large do the silky/ameraucana crosses get to be when they are grown? I have thought of crossing some but don't want to go more toward a bantam size bird.
     
  8. Naamahbengals

    Naamahbengals Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had my first batch last spring, so they aren't quite one year old yet - but they are silkie-sized.
     
  9. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, thanks so much for the prompt answer. [​IMG]
     
  10. Naamahbengals

    Naamahbengals Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No problem!
     

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