Does anybody candle eating eggs?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by Bellyman, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Bellyman

    Bellyman Well-Known Member

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    I don't have chickens yet. Don't have a place for them yet. Working on that but not there yet.

    Anyway, I've been buying eggs. There is a place that has a flock of free range chickens that sells their eggs at one of the local farmers markets. They are expensive but generally have been good. Occasionally, though, there will be eggs that are bloody or with big enough spots in them that, honestly, I just don't want to eat them. It only happens once in a while but it's not something I particularly like, especially paying a premium for the eggs.

    So I did get to wondering whether when I get to the point where I'd like to sell eggs again, should I candle them? I don't want to give people eggs that aren't so good, even if it's just occasionally. If they are pretty nasty looking, I'd just as soon cull them completely. If they're just a bit larger spot, I would be OK keeping them for personal use. But I don't want to give an egg customer a reason not to buy my eggs by selling them less than great eggs, especially if I'm selling them at a premium price.

    Curious if any of you candle your eggs for sale or grade them in any way other than the obvious size or shell deformations type of thing.

    Thanks for the input!
     
  2. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm This Space For Rent Supporter

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    If they are fresh enough there's no need to candle.
    If you discover a nest of undetermined age it's a good idea
     

  3. stachoviak@msn.

    stachoviak@msn. Well-Known Member

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    X2 what Bear Foot said,.
    I only question why you are paying a premium for eggs ?
    can't you find a local chicken keeper where you can buy right off the farm?
    eggs at the farmer's market are not any better than any else.. they just raise their
    prices because,,,,,,,,,they can..

    .......jiminwisc........
     
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  4. Bellyman

    Bellyman Well-Known Member

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    I'm currently on the lookout for someone who raises chickens in a true free-range setup. They're not as common as one might think here.

    Fresh doesn't necessarily do away with the extra bloody yolk or the extra large meat spots in the occasional egg. Having had that happen to me on occasion, I'd like not to do that to anyone else in the future. That's why I asked about candling.
     
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  5. stachoviak@msn.

    stachoviak@msn. Well-Known Member

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    it is true, fresh doesn't prevent blood spots.
    but if you find a nest of unknown age, candling will determine if the eggs might have been partially incubated by a hen..

    when I was in high school, I worked at a grocery store where the owner bought eggs from the farmers' wives.
    in the slack time each of the 3 checkout girls had a candler and they candled eggs that were brought in. there were many that had partially developed chicks in them..

    for local egg producers, check at the feed mill for some leads..
    .........jiminwisc....
     
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  6. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    I have never candled eating eggs. I always break them into a cup before dumping them in the pan or bowl, just to make sure they're ok. They're almost always ok, but once in a while I get a yucky one.
     
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  7. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm This Space For Rent Supporter

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    That's what I do most of the time.
    It's very rare that I find a bad one though but if I do I only lose the one.
    Small blood spots can be lifted out with a spoon.
     
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  8. Bellyman

    Bellyman Well-Known Member

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    Me too, ... which was the whole point of the thread. Thanks.
     
  9. ShannonR

    ShannonR hillbilly farmgirl

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    I have never bothered candling food eggs, but I can see why you'd want to.

    Just to toss it out there: many times meat or blood spots in eggs are either hereditary, or from older hens. Same with double yolks, some bloodlines carry the trait and it tends to happen more in younger hens.
     
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  10. stachoviak@msn.

    stachoviak@msn. Well-Known Member

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    what is considered an old hen ?
    I never keep hens more than 2 laying cycles and I get lots of double yolkers..
     
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  11. Bellyman

    Bellyman Well-Known Member

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    Actually, your post brings something to mind... the person I've patronized in the area does have a rather aging flock of girls, some pushing 4 or 5 years old. It sounds like that may be a factor in seeing more of the problem eggs. I hadn't thought much about that. Thanks for your post.
     
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  12. farmerjan

    farmerjan Active Member

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    I didn't used to candle eggs for myself, but once a friend that I gave eggs to mentioned that she got one with a blood spot in it and she freaked...city type ..... so I usually always candle eggs if they are being sold. Yes from fresh, free-range hens. Stops any problems like you found when buying the eggs. It's not that big a deal, and all eggs that are sold in stores are candled. I worked on a small commercial farm years ago, that had about 1,000 hens and he sold Grade AA and we candled every single one. Any with the meat spot were put in the "cracks" boxes and sold for $.50 a dozen. There were a couple of locals that bought them as they were well versed in the whole fresh from the farm egg thing. We sold any with hairline cracks, meat spots etc; and anything questionable was discarded or given to us to take home. We always cracked into a bowl first, and to this day I still do. But if it is being sold to the public, even just a few dozen, I candle them. Keeps customers coming back, and it doesn't take that long. I ran 150 on free range pasture for 2 years and candled all them.
     
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  13. Forcast

    Forcast Well-Known Member

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    My neighbor gave duck eggs to another neighbor when that person used the eggs they had ducks in them. Person still cant eat eggs. I cant eat eggs when im hatching eggs.
     
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  14. GTX63

    GTX63 Well-Known Member

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    I don't candle. I occasionally get a blood spot or a double yoker, which I believe it is more hereditary. Anyway, it gets tossed in the skillet and fried and I'm still here to tell the tale. We give eggs away to family and yes, it is funny when one of them from the city watches the chickens eating grubs, spiders, etc and says "Is that what is in these eggs? Eewww."
     
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  15. aart

    aart HOW do they DO that?

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    I do not candle eating eggs, but I only sell to a few friends and they understand the vagaries of non factory eggs.
    I have seen a blood spot while candling hatching before setting.

    Had one incident of bloody eggs that was more than a tiny spot, but not as bad as the nickle sized one I had a pic of from when I opened it. I told her to take a pic or save egg shell and all for me so I could determine which hen it was coming from and would replace any egg she couldn't eat. She got 3 of them I only saw 1, no one else did, then never again. She still buys from me, even tho she was/is the one who has the 'chick in an egg' phobia.
     
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  16. Bellyman

    Bellyman Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your reply. You get where my question came from and I appreciate that!

    I don't usually think much about a tiny spot, usually just ignore the smallest of them. But when the spots become quite substantial, even to the point of looking like the yolk is more blood than the normal yolk, I just don't want to eat it. I wouldn't ask anyone else to, either. My last flock of chickens was some where around 50 to 55 laying hens so I do know a little something about this stuff. I didn't candle them then but wasn't often selling to anyone other than family.

    I am curious what you candle your eggs with. There are flashlights these days that can light up half a small town with a couple of AA batteries, those weren't around when I had chickens before. There are lights specifically for candling eggs, from $29 to thousands of dollars. Any thoughts about what works well for you?

    Thanks!
     
  17. Alder

    Alder Well-Known Member

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    I don't candle eggs, but always pick eggs every day, and if one is in a weird place and I question whether I missed it the day before, it goes in the "home eggs" carton. The eggs all go into the fridge immediately, and I never sell eggs that are more than 3-4 days old.

    My hens are all under 3 years, and I get the occasional double-yolker (the customers don't mind the big double eggs). Must say, I never see any blood spots.
     
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  18. Oregon1986

    Oregon1986 Well-Known Member

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    Hmm never heard of candling eggs. I collect my eggs every day and have never had a problem. Occasionally get a double yoker but I just call that lucky,lol
     
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  19. farmerjan

    farmerjan Active Member

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    Years ago made an egg candler from a cardboard quaker oats container put over a light bulb. Cut a small hole in the top and instant candler. Nowadays, I just use a small size flashlight so the egg covers the whole "light" part. Anything that lets you "see" into the real dark brown eggs. Have a homemade small box with a lightbulb inside also.
     
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  20. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Well-Known Member

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    When it's more yolk than blood it sounds like there's either a serious problem with the hen or a fertile developing egg.One time I accidentally gave my dad a dozen eggs and he found a couple that had started developing a bit with blood spots. It happened because it was mid summer and it was 92*F out and the eggs had been left in direct sunlight. Never had it since and I keep some hens pushing 4-5.

    Commercial industry eggs with graded eggs candle their eggs all the time. To be a GRADE A egg grower you must have certain traits upon candling including a lack of blood spots in the eggs, good aircell size, and a clear, distinct yolk. To determine this they candle so many randomly selected out of every batch of eggs.

    But if I had to do that for my eggs, I would just stop selling eggs. I don't sell enough eggs to make that worth my time. Spending 15+ minutes candling a $3 dozen of eggs (get out the candler, go somewhere dark or bring in a dark blanket, look at each egg carefully, struggle with seeing into brown eggs and thick shelled green eggs, put them all back in the carton...) in addition to everything else I spend time on for my hens? Nah. Like many requirements for selling food, it costs an awful lot less when you scale it up and it's not worth even trying for the little gal.
     
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