Candling eggs

Did I mention we are incubating eggs?

We bought a “table top” incubator last weekend. With the price of the chicks we like being so high, replacements aren’t gonna come cheap. I don’t plan to have a dozen different types of chickens, we’re hardly chicken purists, though it did start out that way. I do love love love the wyandotte breed so I thought it was more economical to incubate our own. I don’t know if we’ll get a broody hen or not. We had one last year, but the fox got her and that’s a real shame because I’d much rather have a hen set and care for her own.

At any rate, we put the eggs in a week ago Sunday, 39 eggs to be exact. They are a barnyard mixture. Some coming from my own Silver Laced Wyandottes, most coming from a friend to include “Easter Eggers”, Marans, White Leghorn, Golden Laced, and several others. The instructions sad darker shells cannot be candled until the 7-10 day mark. I was looking at them on Saturday (day 6) and thought the whole batch was no good. I saw distinct air sacs but nothing more. We had a little mishap mid-wee with the incubator getting up to 104 degrees. I did a little research on spiking temps and most people said they were okay depending on how long it stayed at that temperature. Most of what I read said at 104 and above, the cells begin to fry. I had no idea how long it had been so warm and the reason it got so high was because our wood stove was working over time and it was HOT in the house. The incubator we have does not self regulate at a certain temp, it’s sort of manual regulation. I didn’t know it would be like that but for the most part, it’s been absolutely fine. We do have the egg turner but not the fan.

Saturday I didn’t know what I was looking for apparently. A friend was over yesterday and she spotted eye balls right away! YES! Rachel and I moved the incubator into the bathroom this morning, took a seat on the floor and went to work. Rachel is an awesome “eyeball spotter”. We placed “x” on all the viable ones, and “?” on the questionable ones. We had 34 viable ones, and 5 questionable ones. I think 3-4 of the 5 questionable ones were green shelled and those are proving pretty hard for us. So, we’ll check everything again in a week and, remove what we think is bad and go from there.

We’ll set two clutches and probably shut it down for the year unless any roosters from this new batch we got in the mail from McMurrary are ready by late summer, and they may very well be, and then we can do another batch or two for ourselves. I really like mid-summer chicks as they seem so much cheaper and easier to raise! Come spring, they are laying age and all it took was just a little time in the brooder. These winter chicks are proving to take more care, though they’ll be laying by late summer. Pros and cons to it all =).

We won’t be doing purebred birds or anything as I do not intend to have a separate coop for all the different Wyandottes we have. But since the golden laced and the blue laced led are all a spin off of the silver laced, I don’t have an issue combining them all for our own barnyard flock.

The photo below is not very clear. It’s hard to get a real good clear photo with details.  I was not able to capture the veins, but the black shadow in the center of the photo is the actual chick. The black dot (eyeball) is the easiest thing to spot, surrounding the black dot is a lighter shadow, which is the body. Neither of which I was able to capture but anyway…still pretty cool, I think =).

Most of what hatches out of this clutch will be for sale. If you’re in the market for a good barn yard mix for laying or butchering, let me know!

Candling- day 7. Brown egg.

Candling- day 7. Brown egg.

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