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Egg Ultrasound: How to Candle an Egg

Updated: Oct 25, 2023



When a woman is pregnant and we want to see what is happening we use an ultrasound. Fortunately, with an egg it is not so difficult. All we need to do is know how to candle the egg. This is a useful tool to see if there is a baby bird growing. The primary reasons you would want to candle an egg would be if you are trying to hatch chicks or ducklings. The other reason you may want to do this is to make sure there are no babies in the egg before cracking it.


We have a unique situation in that we have free range ducks. It is a constant egg hunt at our house. Once the ducks realize we are pilfering from their nests they find a new location and the hunt begins again. The problem with this is that we don’t always know how long it has been since the eggs have been laid when we find them and we really don’t want to interfere if ducklings have begun to form.

Candling the eggs allows us to either use the eggs with confidence or place them back under the mama duck to continue the growing process. This has been a fail-safe method for us and has never been wrong.


How to Candle an Egg:

To candle an egg all you need is a dark room and a small light. I like to used the flashlight feature on my cell phone. Place the egg over the light so that all the light is going through it, not around it. Turn off the light and you should have a nice clear picture of what is going on in the egg.

If no duckling or chick growing in it you should clearly see yolk. If there is growth you will see blood vessels along the sides of the egg, if it has had enough time to develop and a dark spot in the center of the yolk. The dark spot that moves as you move the egg is the first sign of growth. If it is more developed you will see movement as well.


This has been a great method for us and hopefully it will be for you as well.

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