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.

Candle an egg in a dark room with a flashlight.Candle an egg in a dark room with a flashlight.
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.

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.

Things You Will Need

  • Flashlight with tight focused beam
  • Dark or dimly lit room

About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.