Countdown To Chicks: One More Week

Incubator_EggsIt’s Day 14 for the chicken eggs in the incubator, so we candled them again to check on development…and to avoid “exploders”. A bad egg can apparently explode and spread harmful bacteria to other eggs in the incubator. The thought of a stinky, slimy rotten egg blowing up and spreading deadly ooze on all the other lovely  developing eggs is enough to send a shiver down the spine.

Egg_TrayWe very carefully lifted the egg tray out of the incubator (unwelcome disaster images of dropped egg trays coming to mind) and shined the candler up through the bottom (for incubated egg purposes, the pointy part) of each egg. At this stage, the embryos can react to light, and many moved. It looks as though all the eggs are still viable…there were two that were difficult to see into, but they still looked like they were progressing. It’s going to be crowded in that incubator if all of them hatch!

We tried to get photos of the candled eggs, but the darkness in the room wasn’t conducive. One more candling in 4 days and then they go into “lockdown”, when the eggs are removed from the turner and the eggs should hatch (roughly) on day 21.  Too much or too little humidity can negatively affect hatch rates; similarly, the temperature must be maintained at the correct level. As with many things, the first time is the most challenging, but we’ve learned a lot so far and are optimistic about getting good results. Stay tuned!