Hatching Chicken Eggs: Part Two

Day eight of the new batch of eggs in the incubator and my daughter and I candled them.

Out of 41 eggs, three were not fertilized. Bad roosters! No cookies! Actually, that’s not a bad ratio at all, just not as good a fertilization rate as the last (failed) clutch. We had more questionable eggs this time, too. I don’t know why. Two had the dreaded blood line, one has a tiny crack that I didn’t notice when I put it in the incubator and four don’t look like they are growing. We tossed the unfertilized eggs and the two with blood lines, marked the questionable ones with Xs and all the others we could tell were growing with check marks.

Oddly, the two with blood lines were the two largest eggs in the whole batch. I think they come from the Brahma hens who typically lay super huge eggs. These are beyond Grade A jumbo. These were so big they may have been double, possibly even triple, yolkers. So, if that’s the case, they were bound to fail. I don’t think twin chicks happen.

We tried to take some pictures but they turned out awful. You can’t even tell what the pictures are supposed to show!

Some of the shells were so thick and dark it was hard to see any blood vessels growing in there, but we’re giving them the benefit of the doubt and hoping something is going on inside the shell.

We will candle them again in eight more days just to check on progress and get rid of any that aren’t growing. After that, we just wait. Hatch date is April 28.

Funny thing…our white Aruacana hen (the only white one of that breed I’ve ever had) started setting a clutch of eggs one day after we started the incubator.  She is setting 7, I think, all Aruacana eggs (the green and blue ones). She’s pretty nasty and adamant about not letting any one get their hands near her nest so getting a good count was rather painful. We’ll see how many she hatches out. We’ll probably snag the chicks from her shortly after hatching and keep them inside for a few weeks. The last hen that hatched eggs abandoned caring for them shortly after hatching and they all died.

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