Egg candling in the hatchery

Partenaire(s) : Grimaud Frères
Filière(s) : Canard

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The purpose of candling is to eliminate unfertilized eggs and dead embryos during the incubation. Its role is primordial and give a lot of information.


Jean-Christophe POIRIER, export engineer


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Egg candling in the hatchery

Candling is performed during the incubation of ducks and geese.

Candling is used to remove unfertilised eggs and dead embryos during incubation. It is used to clarify our hatching forecasts. It is also used to inform the farms about the fertility of the breeders and prepare the tightening of fertilised eggs to allow them to develop under good incubation conditions.

Candling period

Candling is done from the 14th day for Pekins, from the 16th day for Mule ducks, from 19th day for Muscovy ducks and for geese we start on the tenth day.

Particular attention must be given to cleanliness of the equipment used during candling.

The candling room must be kept at a temperature between 18°c and 23°c.

It must be clean, disinfected and free of draughts.  For each of the methods, candling must be performed in a semi-dark room. On a daily basis, we use a table equipped with a neon light and plexiglass. We also cardboard trays to put unfertilized eggs and dead embryons.

Techniques of candling.

The first technique, with an LED lamp. This technique is used for early candling or for geese. This candling is done egg by egg. It is more accurate and can be done early.

It is perfect for candling goose eggs, which have thicker shells. Because it is more accurate, it is better at detecting dead embryos

Candling by sampling.

The second technique : is candling by sampling. This method candle a predefined number of eggs and according to the percentage, we decide whether we should candle the whole batch.

The third technique is the candling table, whis is more frequently used at Grimaud Frères.

This involves placing the egg trays on the table equipped with a neon light and plexiglass. Unfertilised eggs and dead embryos are detected by colour contrast.

Points of vigilance.

In early candling, dead embryos may develop later. Care should be taken when handling the trays.
You must also be careful with draughts on hatching eggs. The time taken to remove hatching eggs from incubators should be as short as possible. Finally, beware of breaking dead embryos, they may contain Aspergillus spores. 

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