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February 26, 2011

Candling the Eggs

A new life in the making

Yesterday, the kids and I candled the eggs for the first time. We did not entirely know what we were doing, but thought that all good farmers candle their eggs for viability, so we should probably do the same.

I went in to the garage and found a small hand held flashlight with an old fashioned bulb; none of this LED stuff. I cut a piece of cardboard into a 3"x3" square. Then I cut into the middle of the square, a hole the size of a quarter. Next I took an empty toilet paper roll and cut it down to a 2" tube. As the Silkie eggs are much smaller than standard eggs, I had to adjust the diameter of the toilet paper roll. I cut the tube down the side and curled it into itself until it was the diameter of a quarter. Once satisfied, I taped it into place. Finally, I taped the toilet paper tube onto the cardboard square. My contraption was built.

Quickly, I grabbed egg number one from underneath Dolly. I turned on the flashlight, placed my cardboard contraption on top, then placed the egg on top of the light. Then I saw it. The most spectacular sight of early life. A beautiful intricate spiderweb of veins spiraling outward from a dark center spot. As, I turned the egg, it all seemed to float in space, gliding along the egg's shell. Magical.

Within a matter of 5 minutes, the kids and I candled eggs 1-6. We decided to wait a couple more days on eggs 7-9 as they are younger by a couple of days. My eight year old son was truly amazed by the experience. He asked a lot of questions about the experience and I answered them as best I could. The children are learning life's lessons. Thanks to Dolly, patience and dedication are currently the curriculum of the month at Tilly's Nest.


Here I am candling our eggs in the basement


Top Photo Credit: Chickens in the Road, Bottom Photo Credit: Tilly's Nest

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