I did, however, manage to successfully candle most of the other 18 eggs in the bator. A few of them had some spotty shells, so those were harder to see.
I took these pictures this morning so I could blog about it. I used a few of Squash Blossom's eggs because the shells were much easier to see through because they were so light.
*Oh, and I made my candler for free. I'll post pictures later, but it's just a regular lamp (table sized) with a "daylight" bulb and a shoebox with a hole cut in the bottom (to fit around the bulb) and a hole in the top (to put the egg on). It's probably not the greatest candler, but it works and it was free!
Here's the first egg. You can see the initials "SB" so I could keep the Squash Blossom eggs identified. You can see a dark spot in the egg, which is the chick's eye. You can also see a healthy network of veins around the embryo which means this is a viable egg! The embryos even move around when you put them up to the candler! I tried to take a video, but it was just too dark.
Here's another egg. It looks different than the first one, but I think it's still viable because I'm pretty sure it moved. You can see the eye under the letter "S". Also, I marked each egg with an "X" on one side so when I rotate them I can tell which side they need to be on.
Here's another egg that looks like it started developing really well but I think it has the "ring of death" around it. See the red line around the egg? This happens when bacteria gets in the egg and the embryo dies.
Here's another shot of the same egg on the opposite side. What really worries me is that dark splotch on the bottom right. I am going to post pictures on a chicken forum and ask if they think it's the ring of death.
I haven't gone through and written down how many viable eggs I think I have, but I'm going to do that soon. I'm more of a "wait and see" kinda person, especially because I'm not a candling pro and I don't want to get rid of an egg that might actually be ok. Except for that ring of death egg....they say those are really good at exploding. Yuck.
There's lots of information out there about chick development. Here's a little illustrated chart that's pretty neat. Here's another site with some great pictures of embryos!
13 more days!