Sunday, January 17, 2016

#17~ Sensabaugh Egg House and Other Buildings

“A true friend is someone who thinks you are a good egg
even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.”
~Bernard Seltzer

Last week I shared with you the old white barn at Mr. Sensabaugh’s Egg Farm. This week I am sharing a picture of his old chicken house that dates back many, many years. It is amazing that it has not fallen into total disrepair. An artist friend of mine, Elizabeth Sauder, left a comment last week telling me that her mom, a now retired history teacher I have know since I moved here, told her that the law dictated that Mr. Sensabaugh  “candle” all of the eggs before he could sell them. He did this even though he could not see the results, and the eggs passed inspection. If any of you are curious to know what “ candling" is, under my pictures is an informative article from The University of Illinois. I had no clue what it was. It is amazing that Mr. Sensabaugh was able to do this. Possibly his wife helped him complete the process.

Be sure to check Tom, Backroads Traveler, and his Barn Collective to see lots of barns.

Chicken House

Small Barn


Eggs are candled to determine the condition of the air cell, yolk, and white. Candlingdetects bloody whites, blood spots, or meat spots, and enables observation of germ development. Candling is done in a darkened room with the egg held before a light. The light penetrates the egg and makes it possible to observe the inside of the egg. 

The candler should be set on a box or table at a convenient height (about 38 to 44 inches from the floor), so the light will not shine directly into the eyes of the operator. In candling, the egg is held in a slanting position with the large end against the hole in the candler. The egg is grasped by the small end and, while held between the thumb and tips of the first two fingers, is turned quickly to the right or left. This moves the contents of the egg and throws the yolk nearer the shell. Because of the color of their shells, brown eggs are more difficult to candle than white eggs. 

To do a reasonable job, an extensive knowledge of candling is not necessary, particularly if the eggs are all relatively fresh. One should be able to distinguish a fresh egg from a stale egg and detect such abnormalities as bloody whites, blood spots, meat spots, and cracked shells. In a fresh egg, the air space is plainly visible and moves freely. The white is thin and clear. In a stale egg, the air space is plainly visible and moves freely. The white is thin. 

Most newly laid eggs are good quality. Eggs not over two or three days old, if held under good conditions, will meet the specifications for Grade A. The only eggs to be removed by candling are those with bloody whites, blood or meat spots, and cracked shells.


  1. Thanks Genie for sharing these antique style photos, nice affect. Please keep your Virginia barn posts coming!

  2. I like your photo of the chicken house. I built an "antique" egg candling light for the Ag Heritage Museum's display of chickens. Used weathered boards and some paint to make it look old, and installed a lightbulb in it. It really worked, and didn't look bad in the display.

  3. god must have layed an egg in paradise? or were it two - a male and a female chicken?

    Herzlich Pippa

  4. I know what candling is -- but wasn't this the man you said was blind? Amazing. That is an absolutely beautifu picture .

  5. Those pictures look like prints. That's a big old chicken coup for sure.

  6. i like your photos and the treatments you applied.

  7. The photo's look very nice this way.

  8. Hello Genise, great barns and images. The info on candling is new to me, thanks for sharing. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  9. I think Mr. Sensabaugh had really good chickens plus was a fellow with luck on his side.

  10. I had heard of candling, and thought it involved light, but did not know all the details. Interesting to read.

  11. I like the antique look here. Very appropriate to the subject!