When to do a one and only candling?

Only candling once to pull out duds, what day of incubation would you suggest for a beginner?

  • Day 11

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • Day 12

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • Day 13

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  • Day 14

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • Day 15

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • Day 16

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Day 17

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  • Total voters


Mar 25, 2018
I have 11 eggs in my incubator, they were anywhere from a day to 2 weeks old when they went in, and all were laid within 3 weeks after I got rid of the rooster so I'm expecting a super low hatch rate. I'm still new to this but I wanted to only candle the eggs once (less chances of me dropping them or something).

I'm on day 10 right now and I'd like to know when would be best to candle them? Then I can pull out the duds which I suspect will be many of them. Since I'm new to candling I was looking at this helpful guide: https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...ion-through-incubation-of-chicken-eggs.47879/

I was thinking that maybe day 14 or 15 would be best since it looks like around that time might be the easiest for me to determine the duds from the others since I'm still new to candling. Any suggestions?

I'm planning to only candle again if it's past day 24 and there are any still unhatched.
By day 11 you can confidently dump the clear ones. If in doubt, don't toss them. as long as they pass the sniff test. I kind of enjoy candling and do it more often but minimum for me would be:
1) candle as I put them in the incubator to check for detached air cells or saddle shaped air cells because I may decide to treat those eggs differently- don't turn for a few days, incubate upright for a while, etc.

2) candle about the 10 day mark. Late enough to see clear eggs that aren't going to develop and should be removed. Can identify blood rings and other early quitters. Easy time to see movement.

3) candle again day 18 just before lockdown- if the egg isn't nearly full its probably an early quitter but I keep them if I have the least doubt as long as they smell okay. Seeing movement can be iffy at this stage so I don't toss just because I can't see movement.
Thanks for the input! I've candled them all...and then there was one. I have 6 under a broody hen so I'll have to candle her's and then I'll determine if the one in the incubator should be moved under her (if her eggs are all duds) or just moving the chick in with her after her eggs have hatched since they will hatch a couple days before this one.

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