2015-08-26 / Farm & Ranch


Can’t Hold a Candle to it... or Can You?

Eggs. They’re full of surprises. What’s going on inside? Is it fertile? How far along is the chick? Is it ready to hatch? Is it even still good? The best way to find out is by “candling”.

Candling does not actually involve using a candle, but rather taking the egg into a dark place (such as a closet) and shining a bright flashlight against the eggshell. In doing this, you will be able to see the shadows of what’s going on in the egg. If you have the eggs in the incubator, this will help you determine if you need to remove a bad egg or stop turning one that has “drawn down” and is preparing to hatch.

If you candle the eggs when you first put them in the incubator, they will have a pale yellow glow and a slightly darker light orange glow where the yolk is. At one end you can see where the air cell is (which the chick will use for breathing when it’s ready to hatch). After about 10 days you should be able to tell if the egg is fertile or not because blood vessels will be spider-webbing all around the inside of the eggshell. As the baby grows, it turns into a dark spot and you can literally see the blood vessels pumping and the baby moving inside! If the chick starts to develop and then dies, you will see what’s called a “blood ring”. This is really just decomposed blood vessels. Bad eggs will turn all dark and be liquidy. But if all goes well, then when the chick is ready to hatch, the air cell will begin to “draw down” and you can see the chick’s head poking into the air space. At this point you may even be able to hear the very first peeps!

To learn even more and get hands-on experience, join us at Grace Heritage Ranch for our Saturday morning tours. We are located just 30 minutes northeast of Harlingen, TX near Santa Monica. Please visit us at www.GraceHeritageRanch.com or www.Facebook.com/Visit GHR . For a recorded message, please call 1-855-447-8687. We give both public and private tours. We now also offer live honeybee removals.

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