We made a very primitive egg-candler out of an office lamp, some duct tape and a piece of cardboard. It doesn't give a very good light seal, but we're using it as best we can. There is a stark difference between some of our eggs, and so we believe that a number of them are fertile. We've been candling every 2nd night or so. The eggs are labelled by the date they were laid and put in the incubator.
Eggs 5, 6 and 9 look like the did the days they were laid, with a bit of a yellowish cast from their yolks and an air space and that's all.
Eggs 10, 12 and 13 are definitely different. They had spidery blood vessels a week ago and are now almost completely opaque, except for the air space.
Egg 17 is showing some blood vessels and seems to be well on its way. It's too soon to tell with eggs 19, 20 and 21.
I guess it makes a certain amount of sense that the hen's first three eggs of the season were infertile. We always think of those first eggs as "practice eggs." Often we find a soft-shelled, misshapen or unusually teeny egg amongst those first few of the season.
One one side the eggs have suns drawn on them in pencil, with the date written in the sun. On the other we have drawn a crescent moon. This way we know whether they've been turned yet in the morning or evening. This works well, since our incubator-tending is a collaborative thing. The kids are fairly sure Chuck will remember to look after the eggs while they're in Calgary later this week, turning them twice a day, checking the temperature and humidity in the incubator and adjusting as necessary. I am hopeful. They're due to start hatching around May 1-3. So far the incubator has worked like a charm, keeping the temperature very stable at exactly 100 °F.
PP attacked me today when I went to clean the water trough out. He seems to have discovered his roosterly self. Good news from a breeding standpoint, thoough I would not wish to be locked in the coop with him!