We are on Day 6 of our Hatching 101 series where we are learning day by day what is happening inside chicken eggs during incubation. From the outside you can't tell a thing... you just monitor the temperature and humidity level (You want your temperature to be around 99.3 to 99.6F and the humidity to stay between 40-50% for days 1 through 18). During this time we just add water to our incubator as needed, and it is pretty good and maintaining a steady temperature by itself.
If you're candling your eggs, you should be seeing something by now, especially in your lighter colored or thinner shelled eggs. Sometimes we have problems candling our dark eggs from Marans and some of the blue/green eggs from the Ameraucanas if the shells are thick. My theory over the years is that to always give the eggs I can't candle the benefit of the doubt and leave it in there unless it is showing external signs of issues (such as leaking), which so far I haven't had.
But what is going on inside those eggs?
On Day 6:
- The beak starts to form
- Wings are big enough to start bending at the elbow
- Ribs begin to appear
- Intestines are growing