Check the Fertility through Eggs Candling
It is necessary to candle eggs to check fertility when you are incubating eggs artificially using an incubator. Infertile or bad eggs can be discarded so that there is no risk of them going bad and exploding inside the incubator, contaminating the other eggs. It is also the technique of using light to examine eggs is used in the egg industry to assess the quality of edible eggs.
Before proceed candling just have a look on what the egg is made up of inside.
If you are using a separate incubator or hatcher for the last few days of incubation to hatch your eggs, the extra space can be used for more eggs, provided the incubator is kept sterile.
Candling does not damage the embryos inside the eggs as long as you don’t heat the egg up too much with the heat from the candling device or keep the eggs out of the incubator for too long, so it is ideal to get a glimpse at what is going on inside your eggs.
Make your own candler
Candling gets its name from days gone by when people used to use candles as the light source. Of course these days, you can buy or make your own candler using a light bulb or bright torch as the light source.
The cheapest way to make a candler is to place a light bulb (low energy light bulbs are best as you can get a very bright bulb that doesn’t generate as much heat as a conventional bulb) and light fixture or desk lamp inside a cardboard box.
Modern high power LED torches that do not give off much heat are also an excellent light source that can also be used for candling eggs
Cut a small, round hole in the top of the box, just big enough to sit the pointed end of your egg into. Place your egg onto this hole and turn the light on.
You should be able to see what is inside the egg and with practice you will be able to identify fertile eggs by the spider-like blood veins spreading out much like a spider’s legs.
Bad eggs (sometimes called dead germs) can also be identified during the candling process. This is where the embryo starts to develop but later died and infertile eggs that are clear except for the shadow of the yolk.
Dark shelled eggs are much harder to see through so you will need the brightest light source you can get, and will need to candle the eggs in a dark room to stand a chance of seeing development. If you still can’t tell, you will have to wait longer until the embryo has developed further and can be seen more easily.
Eggs are normally candled after 7 to 8 days of incubation. The most critical period of incubation during the development of the embryo is the first week so it is best to be patient and only take a look after the first week. You will see more after a week and can be more certain about the fertility as well. It’s not easy to see development in the first few days, especially to the untrained eye.
How to make a Wooden Egg Candler?
- One 60 watt bulb
- One porcelain socket
- One piece of stock lumber – 1 inch by 6 inches by 38 inches
- Two No. 8 round wood screws, 1 inch in length
- One piece plywood 1/2 inch by 6 3/8 inches by 6 3/8 inches
- One main electric plug
- Four small brads
- Six feet of extension cord
- 16 seven-penny coated box nails
Wooden Egg Candler
- Cut four pieces 8 inches long from the 1 by 6 board.
- Drill a 1 inch hole in one of the pieces.
- Level the edge of the hole.
- Nail the four 8-inch pieces together.
- Cut the remaining piece of board to fit inside the candling box as a bottom.
- Before nailing the bottom piece in place, screw the porcelain socket to the center of this piece.
- Wire socket with extension cord and then nail bottom in place.
- Drill a hole in back of candler for extension cord, and wire male plug to cord after feeding the cord through the hole as shown in figure above.
- Nail two small cleats to the 6 3/8 inch by 6 3/8 inch plywood. This piece will act as a removable top that will be held in place by the cleats.