how often is it ok to candle your eggs?

Once they don't get chilled, or if you have a broody - she kills you, as much as you want! Clean hands though as the more they are handled, the higher chance you have of bacterial infection.

(I do mine every other day or so)
I never candle eggs until day 18 because I put in about 60 a week so to candle more than 300 eggs is pretty difficult. When I am ready to put them over in the hatcher I candle to see what is viable.

Same with my hens sitting on eggs. When she is ready to stay on the nest for hatching I have tried to check the eggs and get rid of any taking up room. All my hens are super to let me put my hand under for their eggs but then I only usually have my Silkies and Cochins hatching for me and a Serama. Only my Jersey Giants like to pinch the tar out of me when I go under to retrieve eggs when they are broody but I don't let them have them to raise anyhow.

The hen gets off the nest every day for about 15 minutes so letting the eggs cool for that long is fine unless your AC is very low. And I don't usually wash my hands before I do it since I never wash the bloom off the eggs to begin with so they are in good shape. Besides, ever see a muddy Cochin go back in and sit on eggs? Nature doesn't use soap.

I don't always have perfect hatches but I usually get a 90% hatch. The other week my hatcher needing cleaning and I got a rotten hatch rate but the next one was 99% after I cleaned it with Oxine.

Good luck!
I usually check at 7 day intervals. Then I weed out as necessary. You can mark the eggs with a pencil to measure the air cells and keep track of their progress. I never check after day 18, just lock down the bator and cross fingers
OK, there are some terms you used that I don't understand- How do you measure the air cells? What is bloom? what does it mean for an egg to get chilled? Thanks.
I've candled every day when I had eggs I really wanted to hatch and it never did any harm. You just have to be careful and don't keep them out of the bator too long. I go with 10mins max but try to only take out as many as I can candle in 5.
Air cell: the air space at te 'fat'e nd of the egg, should show up much lighter area than the rest when candling.

Bloom: the natural 'finish' to the egg, washing eggs can remove the protective covering from the hen and leave it open to bacteria. Also washing too hot/cold can encourage bacteria to travel in thorught he eggs hell to the membrane/developing chick.

Chilled: the egg getting too cold during incubation, for eampleduring candling, a few minutes is ok as a broody will get up and go for her business once or twice a day, but in an incubator the idea is to keep a constant temp as close to a broody's average temp.

Hope that helps!!

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