How to Candle an Egg


The shell of an egg, such as a chicken egg, is thin and opaque when held near a bright light. A traditional method of determining whether a chick embryo is forming in an egg is to use a candle. An egg is held in front of the candle so that the contents of the egg are visible. The process can allow an egg with a developing embryo to be removed from eggs designated for consumption.

Things You'll Need

  • Flashlight with tight focused beam
  • Dark or dimly lit room
  • Choose a time of day when the light is dim or darken the room by pulling shades or curtains.

  • Hold an egg to be candled by the ends. Position the egg so that the center of the egg will have an unobstructed view.

  • Turn on a flashlight. Adjust the beam, if necessary, so that it is tightly focused. Choose a flashlight that is bright and easy to hold to candle eggs.

  • Hold the egg up to a comfortable viewing position in front of you. Position the flashlight behind the egg so the beam shines directly into the egg.

  • Look at the contents of the egg to determine if only the yolk is present or if an embryo is beginning to develop. Also look for small rings or a dimpled pattern as a sign of bacteria presence.

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