I have Icelandic and Isbar eggs incubating. They are on Day 10 of a 21 Day incubation period. This point is a good time to candle the eggs to pull out any non developing eggs or early quitters before they begin spooling. These eggs can later explode in the incubator, making a stinky, contaminated mess. Candling is done by shining a bright light into the egg in a dark room. I use a flashlight with LED lights. The smaller the head of the flashlight the better. You really want to direct the light inside the egg and not around it, especially with colored or dark shelled eggs.
Of the 11 Icelandic eggs in the incubator all are developing nicely. Of the 8 Isbars, two did not develop and one quit. An egg that is either infertile or for whatever reason does not begin developing looks like this. If a chick were developing in the egg you would see veins developing in the membrane near the air cell. In this photo you can see the yolk at the bottom but there is no veining.
A quitter is an embryo that begins developing but sometime before hatch it quits or expires. An embryo that quits developing in the first few days will develop a blood ring, or a circle of broken down blood around the center. This embryo stopped growing in the last three or four days.
An egg on day ten with a developing chick will look like this. There will be a dark area where the chicks eyes are and it will be heavily veined. At this point you can see even see movement within the egg.
The hard part now will be for me to resist the urge to candle every couple of days. This is not a good practice but I am an admitted serial candler. I need these eggs to hatch to boost my population of Isbars and Icelandics so my plan is to leave them alone and not candle again until Day 18. That is the day they go on “lockdown”. Turning stops on this day and they are put into position to hatch. Some people hatch in cartons with the tops removed and others hatch with the eggs laying on their sides in the incubator. I have not had good experience with hatching in cartons, so I simply lay the eggs on their sides in the hatch tray. The humidity is also raised during the last few days. I do what is referred to as a “dry hatch.” This means I don’t try to maintain a certain humidity during Days 1-18, just leaving it up to the relative humidity. Then on Day 18 I plug in the humidity pump and attempt to maintain a humidy of 65% until they hatch.
This is a staggered hatch as the Isbars were added a day later than the Icelandic’s. We’ll be going on lockdown on July 2nd and 3rd with hatch dates of July 5th and 6th. I’ll be back with an update after I candle them for lockdown.