Thursday, February 10, 2011

Egg Candling & Hen Fights!

Haughty, the setting hen got up yesterday afternoon and decided she was going to have a bite to eat.  I lifted the hatch of the area she is kept, scooped her out and let her be with the other chickens to eat and drink.  I took the opportunity to candle the eggs she is setting on.  Since I'm inexperienced at this, I was just going to let her set and whatever happened happened.  But, Kelle at The Never Done Farm blog wisely told me to candle the eggs because if some aren't fertile, they can explode and rot and the hen will abandon the nest or it will contaminate the other eggs.  So, I shut all the windows of the coop, shut the door and it was me, a flashlight, a toilet paper roll and the eggs.  I looked up online what to look for and since I'm such a novice, I hope I "read the results" correctly!  From what I could see, 7 out of the eggs seemed to be developing well!  There was one where I saw a small fracture in the egg while candling and that one had nothing in it.  So, I grabbed the "bad egg", put the 7 back am hoping for 7 healthy chicks in less than two weeks!
In the meantime, I saw something that was a sight for me!  When I came back out of the coop, all the gals and Jack were eating cause I left a lid full of scratch laying on the ground.  I am wondering if Haughty is getting a bit more aggressive since she is soon going to have babies as I'm sure she will most likely protect them from other hens down the road.  Well, the "lead hen" is Theodocia and if I hadn't know they were hens, I would have thought I was watching a cock fight!  Theodocia and Haughty were jumping up in the air, bumping chests and sparring madly!!  The other hens fled and when the two of them stopped their spar, business went back to normal.  Wow.  Didn't quite know what to make of that!  Haughty was then ready to go back in her area and she resumed setting on her eggs.  To appease hint of guilt of being a chick killer, I made sure my candling assumption was correct and cracked open the egg I took away and was relieved when there was no baby chick inside!!


  1. That is a good ratio of good eggs to the one that didn't take! Way to go Jack! He seems to be mighty productive... and Haughty was probably just saying come ON! I've been sitting on this nest and all I want is a snack already Theodocia... MOVE! :) I love watching chickens. They are always doing something quirky.

  2. Chicks on the way! I'm so excited for you. I don't know if I'm going to have chickens anytime soon. :( I'll learn from your posts and when I do, I'll be better prepared. I never heard of candling. Lots to learn!

  3. I just found your blog this morning. I really enjoyed reading from the begining all the way to here. It will be saved into my favorites for sure.

  4. been there...worn the t shirt!!!!!!!

  5. Thanks for the tips! I candled our 'near month old' duck eggs and found all were bad... Bummer. No ducklings for us!

    Isn't that strange about the two hens? I'm really learning from you!



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