Is my hen sitting on fertilized eggs?

tjmings

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Aug 3, 2015
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I have a broody hen who hatched chicks for us ever year. In the past I buy fertilizer eggs for her. This year we have a roo so we are hoping to hatch our own. She is currently sitting on 5 eggs and has been for about a week. I’m not sure how to tell if they are fertilized. Last night I tried to look through the shell with a flashlight but I couldn’t see anyhing. Any tips?
 

Ol Grey Mare

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What color or colors are the shells of the eggs she is setting? The darker the shell or thicker the shell the harder it can be to get a good candellin. Choose a light source that is powerful enough to penetrate and it is best to candle in as dark of an area as possible. If you don't want to move the eggs is there a way to darkened the area in which the hen is currently setting so that you can candle them? Generally speaking there are ways to safely move the eggs and take them away from the nest for a short period of time to accomplish candling if needed.
 

tjmings

Chirping
Aug 3, 2015
64
2
54
What color or colors are the shells of the eggs she is setting? The darker the shell or thicker the shell the harder it can be to get a good candellin. Choose a light source that is powerful enough to penetrate and it is best to candle in as dark of an area as possible. If you don't want to move the eggs is there a way to darkened the area in which the hen is currently setting so that you can candle them? Generally speaking there are ways to safely move the eggs and take them away from the nest for a short period of time to accomplish candling if needed.
I went out last night so it was pretty dark. My husband held her while I shined a flashlight on the wider end of each egg. Some of the eggs I was able to "see through" but didn't see anything and a couple of the others the shells were definitely too dark/thick to see anything. I have pink, white and green eggs. The green ones are the ones I can't see anything through. How long should it be before you can start to see development in the egg?
 

WVduckchick

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I went out last night so it was pretty dark. My husband held her while I shined a flashlight on the wider end of each egg. Some of the eggs I was able to "see through" but didn't see anything and a couple of the others the shells were definitely too dark/thick to see anything. I have pink, white and green eggs. The green ones are the ones I can't see anything through. How long should it be before you can start to see development in the egg?

You can usually see blood vessels within 6-7 days, but darker shells can take longer. By day 14, about half of the egg should look dark. The strength of your light makes a difference too. Fresh batteries help a bunch!
WP_20150608_022b2.jpg
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
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I went out last night so it was pretty dark. My husband held her while I shined a flashlight on the wider end of each egg. Some of the eggs I was able to "see through" but didn't see anything and a couple of the others the shells were definitely too dark/thick to see anything. I have pink, white and green eggs. The green ones are the ones I can't see anything through. How long should it be before you can start to see development in the egg?
The wide end is the air cell. Development is occurring from the other end. Try candling from the narrow end or side, placing the light right up against the shell and cupping south your hand to direct all light into the egg.
 

Birdinhand

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I would assume they are fertile. to be able to do a good candling, take a bright light, with a small opening, LED is the best these days, since they are less likely to overheat the embryo and have a concentrated beam with a small lens. if need be, cut a hole in cardboard box, place a light in it, smaller than the middle of the egg and use it to focus the light through the egg without spilling light around it. a good "seal" will allow your eyes to adjust to the dark and focus most of the light through the shell so you can see if there is structure within in the egg. sometimes an iphone flash light is bright enough, and you can rest the egg on the light and look in. It's OK to take the eggs out of the nest and go inside if you return them within a half hour (the mother gets off the eggs for a half hour or more a day so they are designed to hold heat long enough for that without issue). my favored way is to, with washed hands, leave the hen on the nest and remove the eggs one at a time and place in an egg carton. i hold them gently and candle them one at a time, then place them under the hen. she might be a little pecky, but it's not usually a big deal at night, particularly if she is hand tame. at this stage you are looking for a blob with a network of blood vessels growing against the shell. dark shells are harder to candle, if you see only a dark blob on a dark shell egg, you are probably good. Once you get accustom to what you are looking at, the idea is to remove and discard eggs that are clear and have no developing embryo, to reduce the risk of bacterial spread and or the egg blowing up from built up gasses of decomposition. it should look something like this:
 

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