Oh my oh my…. only SEVEN more days until the chicks arrive!
Here’s an update on what’s been happening inside our incubating eggs over the past few days:
Day 10: Beaks began to harden, skin pores became visible to the naked eye, & digits were completely separated.
Days 11-12: Toes were fully formed & down feathers became visible.
Day 13: Scales and claws became visible, & bodies fairly well covered with feathers.
Today, Day 14: Embryos turns their heads towards the blunt end of egg.
It’s very difficult to understand how all of this development has happened in just TWO weeks. The image below helps to demonstrate just how dramatic an embryo’s growth is during this process:
Another way to track the development of incubating eggs is through “candling,” a way of looking INSIDE an incubating egg by holding it above an LED flashlight in a dark room.
Here are some pictures of candling from Day 2:
And here’s an incubated egg after 3 days! The orange area is the yolk sac, and the embryo is still so small that it can’t be seen with the naked eye.
We also candled on Day 12:
This is a healthy, developing egg. The orange bottom area is the air cell, and the dark area is primarily the yolk sac and the developing embryo. When looking up close, you can even see blood vessels!
Candling also helps us to know which embryos are not developing correctly. By Day 12, an egg should appear mostly dark, as in the picture above. This example, however, looks more similar to Day 3, and reveals that this egg is not viable.
Another example of a non-viable egg; it has “blood ring,” a type of bacterial infection.
So far we’ve discarded 5 non-viable eggs. Although this may seem a little bit sad, it is very normal! A typical “hatch rate” is around 80%.
Over the next few days, even MORE incredible growth and development will occur inside our eggs. Stay tuned for more updates soon. Cheep cheep!