Mr. Barber’s Egg Hatching Project

For the past 6 years, Mr. Carl Barber and his class have been hatching chicks and ducks in his classroom.

This year the class successfully hatched a total of 20 Chicks and 7 ducks.  An additional 8 duckling eggs will hatch the week of May 7th.

The students in his class track the growth and development of the eggs throughout the incubation period by Candling.

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What is candling and why do we do it?

If you leave eggs in your incubator that are not fertilized (“yolkers”), or have embryos that have quit growing (“quitters”), your incubator (and room) will get very smelly. These eggs rot if they are left in an incubator without supervision/candling!

What can be used to candle the eggs?
– You just need a bright light. You don’t need any special tools.
– You need a dark room. The room should be near the incubator or in the same room as the incubator so you can put the eggs right back in after you are done.

How to Candle an Egg

When you are ready to check the egg for progress, turn on your bright light (candler) and shut off the lights in the room so it is dark. Without looking directly at the bright light, hold the larger end of the egg up to the light and slowly turn it until you can see inside the egg. The light won’t hurt the embryo but it isn’t a good idea to hold it up there a long time especially if the light gets hot.

Be very careful when you are holding the egg so you don’t accidentally crack it. When you are finished, carefully place the egg back in the incubator.

What you can see when you candle the eggs.

You can see the air sac.
You see the pores in the egg shell.
You see the yolk.
You can see blood vessels or a thin red ring around the yolk.
After a week in the incubator – you may see the embryo move!

All these are used to check on the development of the chick or duckling so we can tell when they are about to hatch!