Right now, we are incubating chicken eggs. These were laid by my hens, some Barred Rock, some Ameraucana, and a few that are a mix of Barred Rock with something else. My rooster is a Barred Rock. I want to get my poultry on a cycle. My hens are still young and laying well. Then hens I hatch in a couple of weeks will start laying in March of next year. I think this will be a perfect time to butcher the old hens (except my Ameraucanas) and let the new ones take over the responsibility of supplying our family with eggs.
My plan of course has lots of variables. Today was the day I checked the first one. I candled all the eggs to check for viability. Candling eggs is the easiest thing in the world, and within just a few minutes I had culled all the "dead eggs."
I began with 41 eggs. By holding a bright flashlight under each egg, I could see inside it. This is what a "dead egg" looks like:
I was very glad to find out that all my Ameraucana eggs are viable for now. It's very likely that some embryos will die and when I candle them again next week, I'll have more that are clear again.
I'll be sure to keep you posted!