It is day 14 of our incubation! We got to candle our eggs for the second time. Last week, on day 7 of the incubation, we candled the eggs and saw what looked like development in all seven of our eggs! Here is the posting about our first egg candling of all seven eggs on day 7: http://livingjoydaily.com/2017/03/08/egg-candling-seeing-new-life-in-progress/. Today it looks like we have five of the seven eggs developing normally. Here is a pic of what normal development looks like for day 14. You should see the blood vessels and then the darkness in the egg is the chick!

The light area at the bottom of the egg (where it is really bright) is the air sac. This is what you will see in a normal egg that is properly developing. I drew a line around our air sac line in each egg, as that is where the chick should pip (break through) their shell. If they pip elsewhere they are turned the wrong way. I will have to research what to do if that happens.

I am utilizing the http://www.raising-happy-chickens.com website. She does a great job of explaining the incubation process, egg candling, hatching, and what to expect at each phase. Here is some info from her site I found useful for day 14 egg development:

The air sac is the lightest area and is on the bottom of the egg. Above that is darker because it is all part of the developing chicken. We had 5 total eggs that looked normal. Meaning they had egg sacs, visible blood vessels, and a large dark mass (the chick). We also got to see some small movements inside some of the eggs! Brielle was doing video this morning so I could hold the egg and candle at the same time: Video of egg being candled day 14.

Below are our eggs at day 14. You may see that they appear dirty. That’s because they came from the farm that way (with chicken “stuff” on them). All my research indicated that you should not clean the eggs whatsoever, so I didn’t. I also have lots of pencil writing on my eggs. That’s so I know when the incubator is turning them. I put an x on one side and an o on the other. Now I also have the egg sacs outlined at the bottom so I know where the chicks should pip. Only pencil should be used, as marker or pen can go through the shell and affect the chick’s development.

Below is one of our two eggs that didn’t develop. Well, actually this is the one that didn’t appear to develop after the first week. The other one is still in the incubator. I will recheck it in a few days. It has a chick inside, but it is much smaller and less developed than the other five eggs. The one below is a classic non-developed egg:

As you can see, this one lights up like a Christmas tree bulb in comparison to the other eggs, which have growing matter inside them. I used the http://www.raising-happy-chickens.com as a reference for this, just to be sure I was right about the non-development of this egg. You can see in her photo below (from her website) that my egg looks just the same.

Brielle was sad we had to throw this egg out. I reminded her we eat eggs all the time. I loved her response. She said “yes, but this one we wanted to grow into a baby chicken”. She’s right, it’s still a little sad to throw it out. Non developing eggs need to be thrown out, as they can explode and cause bacteria to get on the other eggs. The shells are porous and bacteria can be absorbed through the shell. Thus, we needed to get rid of this egg.

Still in the game though, with six eggs in the incubator and 7 days to go! I will check on the other potentially bad egg in a couple of days before we go into lock down mode. Lock down happens on day 18. I will fill the water in the center of the incubator to ensure high humidity and then won’t open again until after all the chicks hatch. I will also remove the turner tray on day 18, so the eggs are stationary. They have to stay in the incubator after hatching until their feathers fluff out and they are dry too. They can stay in there up to 24 hours after hatching.

A week from now we hope to see some Rhode Island Reds coming out of their shells. What is neat about this breed is that you can tell the male from the females right from birth. The females will have a black line on the back of their head and the males will not. Pretty neat!