Candling Cockatiel Eggs: Everything You Need To Know

Candling Cockatiel Eggs

Candling cockatiel eggs involves using a light or candle to examine the inside of the egg. This process helps determine if the egg is fertileOpens in a new tab. by observing its color, shape, and opacity. Breeders can easily identify the presence of a chick by performing this simple and informative technique. In this article, we’ll talk about candling cockatiel eggs, the cockatiel egg candling chart, and the cockatiel egg candling stages.

Candling cockatiel eggs is a method used to determine fertilization and track the development of each embryo. By shining a bright light next to the egg and observing specific features inside the shell, you can gain valuable insights.

However, it’s important to understand that a 100% hatch rate should not be expected for your eggs. Some eggs remain unfertilized, known as “yolks,” while others, called “quitters,” cease development during incubationOpens in a new tab.. The cockatiel eggs that are fertilized and progressing properly are referred to as “winners.”

When identifying yolk or quitter eggs, it’s crucial to promptly remove them from the incubator. Failure to do so can lead to the eggs rotting, accumulating gas, and potentially even exploding within the humid incubator environment.

This creates an unpleasant odor and exposes the healthy eggs to harmful bacteria from the decaying ones. Such exposure puts the embryos and later the chicks at risk of disease.

How To Candle Cockatiel Eggs

Cockatiel egg candling is a process used to check the development and viability of the embryos inside the eggs. It involves using a bright light source to illuminate the egg and examining its contents.

The most common method is to use a bright light. You’ll need a bright light source, such as a flashlight or a candle lamp. Make sure the light is strong enough to penetrate through the eggshell. Start candling your cockatiel eggs by using this bright light source on AmazonOpens in a new tab..

For successfully candling, you need a quiet and dark room where you can perform the process without any distractions or external light interference.

Cockatiel eggs are delicate, so handle them with care to avoid any damage. Also, ensure that your hands are clean before touching the eggs.

Hold the flashlight or candling lamp behind the egg, positioning it against the air cell area (the rounded end of the egg) to allow the light to pass through.

After that, slowly rotate the egg while shining the light through it. Look for any signs of development, such as blood vessels or movement. A developed embryo will appear as a dark mass with visible blood vessels branching out.

Keep track of each egg’s progress and mark them accordingly. This will help you monitor their development and determine when to expect them to hatch.

Candling can also help determine whether the eggs are fertile or infertile. Fertile eggs may show signs of development, while infertile eggs will remain clear or have only a small dot (blastodisc) without visible veins.

Alternative Methods For Candling Cockatiel Eggs

While using a bright light source is the most common method, you can also try the following techniques:

Egg candler: An egg candler is a specialized device designed specifically for candling eggs. It typically consists of a bright light bulb or LED inside a cylinder or egg-shaped housing. By placing the egg on top of the candler, you can easily view the contents through the translucent shell.

Natural sunlight: If the room is bright enough and you have access to natural sunlight, you can hold the egg up to a window or another light source. Be sure to position the egg carefully to allow the light to shine through the air-cell area. However, keep in mind that natural sunlight may not always provide sufficient illumination compared to dedicated candlelight.

Opaque container method: In this method, you can place the egg inside an opaque container with a small hole or opening. Place a bright light source, such as a flashlight, against the hole and observe the egg from outside. This container helps block external light interference and allows you to focus the light on the egg.

When Should I Start Candling Cockatiel Eggs?

Candling cockatiel eggs is an essential practice for monitoring their development, but it’s crucial to start at the appropriate time. Generally, you should begin candling cockatiel eggs 7 days after incubation has begun. This timing allows sufficient embryo development to be visible during the candling process.

During the initial days of incubation, the embryo is still in its early stages and may not have developed enough for accurate observation. Starting candling too early could make it challenging to discern any significant changes.

As the eggs are nearing their hatching stage, it’s best to minimize handling and candling. Excessive disturbance during this period can potentially harm the growing embryos or disrupt the natural hatching process.

Also, if an egg appears cracked, damaged, or compromised in any way, it is advisable not to handle it. Handling such eggs may further harm the embryo or cause contamination.

How Often Should I Candle Cockatiel Eggs During Incubation?

After the first candling session 7 days after incubation begins (initial candling), the frequency of candling can be adjusted based on your needs and the development of the eggs. Here are some suggested intervals:

  • Weekly candling: From days 8 to 14, you can candle the eggs once a week. This allows you to observe the progress of the embryos, monitor their growth, and detect any potential issues.
  • Bi-weekly candling: From days 15 to 18, you can reduce the frequency to once every two weeks. At this stage, the embryos are more developed, and less frequent candling helps minimize disturbance.
  • Late incubation: During the final days of incubation (days 18 to 21), it is generally recommended to avoid candling. The embryos are preparing to hatch, and excessive handling or candling may disrupt this natural process.

Allowing eggs to be outside the incubator for a maximum of 30 minutes is acceptable, but it is highly advisable to return them promptly for optimal conditions.

Cockatiel Egg Candling Stages

Cockatiel Egg Candling Stages
  1. Initial Candling (Day 3-4)
  • Gather a small flashlight or a candling device.
  • In a dark room, gently hold the egg against the light source.
  • Look for a clear or slightly translucent area with a tiny dark spot in the center.
  • This dark spot indicates the beginning of embryo development.
  • Infertile eggs may appear completely clear without any dark spots.

2. Vein Development (Day 6–7)

  • Repeat the candling process.
  • At this stage, you should see tiny blood vessels extending from the dark spot.
  • These blood vessels form a network, providing nutrients to the developing embryo.
  • Fertile eggs will show a visible web-like pattern of veins.
  • Infertile eggs may appear clear or have limited or no visible veins.

3. Embryo growth (Day 10–12)

  • Continue with candling.
  • The embryo should now occupy a significant portion of the egg.
  • You may observe movement or shifting within the egg as the embryo develops.
  • Look for a darker area within the egg, indicating the embryo’s location.
  • Non-fertile eggs will likely show no signs of growth or development.

4. Advanced Development (Day 15–18)

  • Proceed with candling as the embryos near hOpens in a new tab.atching time.
  • The growing chick will take up most of the egg space.
  • The air cell, which appears as a small, clear area, should be larger than before.
  • The chick’s body may be visible, and you may even see it moving.
  • Non-fertile eggs will remain unchanged or show signs of deterioration.

5. Pipping (Day 18–21)

  • Observe the eggs during this critical stage.
  • Candling may not provide significant insights due to limited visibility.
  • Look for indications of pipping, which is the first crack the chick makes to hatch.
  • You may hear faint chirping sounds or see movement within the eggs.
  • Once pipping occurs, it’s essential to provide a calm and stable environment.


Candling cockatiel eggs is a valuable method to check on the embryos inside. It helps track development and determine if an egg is fertile. However, not all eggs will hatch, and it’s crucial to remove unfertilized or stalled eggs promptly to prevent issues.

Start candling around day 7 of incubation for the best results. Watch for veins and embryo growth during the process and avoid excessive handling, especially as the hatching date approaches.

A careful and timely approach to candling can greatly support successful breeding and healthy chick hatching.

Cockatiel Enthusiast

My name is Bojan. I have been around Cockatiels for the past 7 years. I love writing about Cockatiels and helping people understand how these beautiful birds live, what they like, and how to provide them the best possible care.

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