Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!
Many people who own chickens, at least at some point, discover that one of their hens has decided to go "broody". AKA You know how, every morning when you've collected eggs, you've been wondering why one of your chickens isn't laying? Well..... she has been!
And now, you have before you the chance for some free chicks.
You see, not always are the eggs fertile. Most of the time at least some of them are, but some hens (especially Silkies) go broody for any eggs. Fertile or infertile.
The best way to check for egg fertility is through candling.
Candling has been used for the longest time and seems to be the best method. But you can only candle the eggs after the have been incubating a minimum of three days. Freshly laid eggs can look the same as an infertile egg.
All you need is a bright flashlight and your egg. (You might also want a store bought egg for comparison.)
I am providing you with this tutorial from WikiHow because there are pictures for you to compare to.
There are a lot of people who say that another way to check the eggs is by placing the egg in water. DO NOT DO THIS. Eggs are porous, which means that placing one in water can kill the chick. DO NOT DO THIS.
So far candling is the safest way.
And, when all else fails, sometimes the best thing to do is just let the hen take care of the eggs for 21 days and see what happens.
We often find that this is the best way to do things. It usually doesn't hurt anything to leave her be and wait it out.
I hope this helped and have a great day,