We candle the eggs to see if there is an embryo inside. An embryo is a growing, unborn animal… in our case, the embryo would be a chick growing inside of the egg.
Candling is using a bright light to help us see through the shell. Many years ago, a candle would be used for the light source. But we use a box with a light bulb in it. There is a hole in the box that we hold the egg up to. If the shell isn’t too thick and there is an embryo inside, we will see veins and the embryo will be a darker mass. Sometimes we can see a very dark circle, which is an eye, and movement from the embryo. Here’s a picture of our box and a plastic egg being held up to the hole…
Some egg shells are easy to see through (our white eggs) but others are impossible (our pale green and dark brown eggs). We are so happy that we are seeing signs of life in some of our eggs!
We need some help from 3rd grade figuring out these numbers…
How many eggs are in a dozen?
If there are 3 dozen eggs in Media and 9 dozen eggs in the 4th grade classrooms and 1 dozen eggs at Mrs. Queen’s house, how many dozens of eggs are there all-together?
How many eggs is that??
Reward for the first 3rd grade class that posts correct answers to this question!
Between last Tuesday and today, we candled 26 of the 36 eggs. 9 of the 26 eggs were much too hard to see in to. For those eggs, we do not know if there is a chick growing inside or not. But in the other 17, the 4th graders were able to see that the egg sac got larger, veins, an eye, and movement. Below is a chart that shows the growth of the chick in an egg…
egg development chart from http://www.zoomschool.com
Worry, worry, worry!
How many of you knew that the power was out early this morning? Many of us in Eldersburg lost power around 5:30 am today and it was off for about 2 hours. We were very worried about what the temperature would be at by the time we got in this morning. However, at 8am it was 100 degrees… good news! Maybe, the incubator was able to get power from the backup generator… thank goodness!
Today, with Mrs. Fey’s class, we candled 4 eggs. All 4 of them appeared to have life growing inside… we were all very happy! Hopefully we’ll be able to do a few more later this week. This is a photo of a typical fertile egg on day:
We are always extra nervous coming in on a Monday morning… was the temperature okay while we were gone? It was this morning… same as when we left Friday evening. Hopefully the fourth graders will get to do some candling this week to see if anything is happening in any of these eggs. We will keep you posted!
We are 3 days in and all is well in the incubator – temperature and humidity look good.
Breezy Willow Farm gave us 36 beautiful eggs for our incubator today – Mrs. Voight said that they looked like Easter Eggs because of all of the different colors!
Farmer RJ warned us that she never knows which are fertilized AND she is not sure how the cold night temperatures may have affected the eggs… we’ll have to just wait and see. Mrs. Voight and Mrs. Queen candled and marked the eggs and then set them in the incubator. Let the countdown begin!
Last year wasn’t a great success for the Peep Project, we only had 2 chicks hatch (watch for an update on those two… one will be coming soon). One morning during the Project, we found the incubator at a very high temperature. We were not sure if someone touched a setting that they shouldn’t have or if the incubator failed. We have had the incubator running for 2 weeks and the temperature has been holding steady… it is ready! All we need now are the eggs and some 4th grade researchers!
Farmer Casey wasn’t able to gather eggs for us today – it has been too cold at night and some of the eggs actually freeze before she’s able to collect them. Be patient… we will try again next week.