The incubation of your eggs is coming along nicely. The temperature and humidity are nice and stable, everything has gone according to plan so far. Day 10 has finally arrived and since it is a good idea to do candling every 4-6 days, it is time for your second candling. Today you will be checking on the embryos progress over the last 6 days.
Get yourself set up and ready before you take the eggs out of the incubator for candling. You want to get the candling done as quickly as possible so the effect on the eggs is minimal.
Make sure your light is working properly and get a little basket lined with some cloth to keep the eggs in. The cloth will help keep them warm while you do the candling. Have a pen and your record-keeping sheets available and ready. Once ready, fetch the eggs and get ready to start right away.
What to Expect
You might be surprised to find that candling on day 10 is more difficult than on day 4. The reason for that is that the embryo has grown so much since you last checked it that less of the egg around it is visible.
You should find a large black area with veins spiralling out from it somewhere around the centre of the egg. The air pocket will probably be the easiest thing to see in this candling.
Since your last candling, more embryos may have passed away. This is, unfortunately, part of the incubation process and not your fault at all. For the eggs that didn’t make it, you will see one or more blood rings inside the egg. If you notice blood rings, remove the egg immediately.
You may notice spots in some eggs. The spots, unfortunately, mean that the embryo’s chances of making it to hatching aren’t very good but it is still alive unless a blood ring or two is visible as well. If you notice spots, you will have to decide if you want to remove the egg from the incubator or give it a fighting chance to hatch and keep it in the incubator. Just remember that the chances of the embryo making it to hatching is very slim.
Put your healthy eggs back in the incubator right away if the candling showed the embryos are developing nicely. At this point, you are about halfway through incubation. Just hang in there, the exciting day of hatching is coming quicker than you think! You will need to do at least one more candling before the time is up so you can look forward to that.
While you wait for hatching day, make sure that you start preparing. You will need to get a brooder and a heat lamp and test it to make sure the temperature is stable. You will also have to get bedding for the newly hatched chicks, food, chick feeders and water dispensers. Everything needs to be ready by day 19 at least in case your chicks start to hatch early. You never know so rather come prepared!