I candled my eggs again today, exactly sixteen days after I started the incubation process. The results were great.
Of the twenty-two eggs I had recieved, nineteen had been fertilized. As far as I could tell, all had survived to the first time I candled. As I candled them again, my excitement rose with each egg. I went through, one by one, examining them closely. The first was dead, I could tell, and this was dissapointing.
The second, (which happened to be the one that seemed to be developing best when I first candled) was doing well. The embroyo filled most of the egg, and veins were clearly visible. Some movement was also obvious. All but three of my eggs were similar cases, full egg, visible veins and movement. Some of my eggs, though, were so full that little was visible, though some still was. These were mostly larger eggs.
Of all the breeds I have, the eggs I believe to be Indian Runner ducks seem to be doing the best. The three I mentioned before were dead. I try to candle my eggs very infrequently. The oil on your skin is damaging to them, and while it is ok to candle daily, I choose not to because I think the chances of survival go down, very slightly, when you touch them. I also wash my hands very thoroughly before I handle the eggs, and try to touch them as little as possible. I also dislike having the lid off the incubator for an extended period of time.
One reason I think the eggs have been so successful so far is my automatic turner. This will turn them to just the right angle and keep them turning very slowly but consistantly and constantly.