Day 7 – the first candling

December 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

Yesterday afternoon we candled Poppy’s eggs for the first time. We were both quietly nervous – would there be any embryos developing? or were Lily and Poppy too old? Was Patrick doing the job? Had the eggs suffered from our handling while we waited for a hen to go broody? (In theory we were turning them three times a day. It ended up only being twice on more than one occasion.) Was Poppy covering them properly, given that she’d had (minor, but quite awkwardly located) surgery just before we gave her the eggs?

Result: all of them except the very oldest (egg #7, from Lily) seem to have some development. In a couple of cases I could even see the embryo swimming, or its heart beating. Hooray!

chicken embryo developmentOf course this is still very early, and there is a famous saying regarding inadvisable responses to this sort of news. And there was something that worried me about a number of them – a largish clear area to one side of the embryonic mass, roughly halfway down the egg, against the shell. I don’t know if it actually is a void of some sort, or if it’s just that this candler is so good that I’m seeing more than I’m used to seeing, and it’s just the bit of egg the embryo hasn’t grown into yet. My worry is that the embryo is stuck to one side of the shell (through not being turned enough while waiting to be set), or that there’s been too much moisture loss and I’m seeing the result of the shells being too porous. On the other hand, it is still quite early on in the incubation period – only seven days (six, in the case of #13). According to an informative page from the the good folks at the Mississipi State University Extension Service, beaks and feather should be just starting to form.

But again, I guess we’ll know more in about fourteen days time …

Egg Date Parentage  Laid Weight   Set Weight First candling
1 25/11/13 Poppy x Lola 55 g 55 g #1 – Poppy, 25/11 something there – blood vessels, also a void?
2 26/11/13 Poppy x Lola 62 g 61 g #2 – Poppy, 26/11 yes, saw it moving!
3 29/11/13 Poppy x Lola 62 g 62 g #3 – Poppy, 29/11 yes, looks good
4 30/11/13 Poppy x Lola 59 g 58 g #5 – Poppy, 3/12 yes, mass and movement
5 3/12/13 Poppy x Lola 63 g 63 g #4 – Poppy, 30/11 something there – eye? void?
6 4/12/13 Poppy x Lola 59 g 58 g #6 – Poppy, 4/12 yes, mass and movement
7 20/11/13 Lily x Patrick 63 g 62 g #7 – Lily, 20/11  nothing, except possible blood ring
8 25 /11/13 Lily x Patrick 64 g 62 g #8 – Lily, 25/11 yes, mass and movement
9 26/11/13 Lily x Patrick 62 g 60 g #9 – Lily, 26/11 blood vessels – a bit less developed?
10 30/11/13 Lily x Patrick 60 g 59 g #10 – Lily 30/11 yes
11 5/12/13 Lily x Patrick 62 g 62 g #11 – Lily, 5/12 yes
12 5/12/13 Gabrielle x Patrick 68 g 68 g #12 – Gabrielle, 5/12 yes
13 8/12/13 Lily x Patrick 59 g 59 g #13 – Lily, 8/12 yes
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