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!
Of 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 …