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Facts about Fertilized Chicken Eggs

Humans have been eating eggs from birds since prehistoric times. Plenty of birds and animals lay eggs, and people consume them as well, but chicken eggs are without a doubt the most common and most popular. Statistics have shown that six billion eggs are consumed annually-and that’s just in the United States!

Since eggs are such a well-loved kind of food, it is no wonder people express some concern about the kind of egg they are eating. One of these concerns is whether the eggs they got from the supermarket are fertilized chicken eggs or not. But wait, aren’t all eggs supposed to be fertilized in the first place? This article aims to clarify just that.

 
Chick Brooder

It is a known fact that hens lay eggs. However, what is not very well known is that hens can lay eggs with or without the presence of a rooster. For the eggs to be fertilized, the hen and rooster must mate first, and this process must occur prior to the formation of the egg. Thus, if the hen has mated and she lays an egg, then that egg is fertilized. If the hen has not mated and she lays an egg, then that egg is unfertilized. Note, however, that the embryo of a fertilized egg does not undergo any change or development once it is placed inside the fridge. It has also been said that a hen lays fertilized eggs for a week if it has mated even once.

You can tell fertilized chicken eggs apart from unfertilized ones by candling eggs. This is a process traditionally used by farmers. In this process, hold the egg up to the candlelight so you can point out the blood spots and embryo. You will notice some eggs may appear opaque. These opaque eggs are the fertilized ones. Nowadays, you can find lights made specifically for candling eggs, but you may use the candlelight if you wish to do so.

If you crack the egg open, you can also see some differences between fertilized and unfertilized eggs. You can see the white circle present in the egg yolk is more defined in fertilized chicken eggs than in their unfertilized counterparts. You can also see small red lines running along the surface of the egg yolk. People commonly mistake the chalazae, a white stringy material found inside the egg, to be the embryo, but this is not so. The chalazae functions as a sort of barrier to prevent eggs from breaking. It is also found in all eggs.

One question floating among avid egg-eaters is if fertilized eggs are safe for consumption. The answer is yes. It is perfectly okay to eat fertilized eggs. Also, as mentioned in the previous paragraphs, once the fertilized egg is stored inside the fridge, the embryo no longer undergoes any change or development. Rest assured that you can eat your fertilized chicken eggs just fine like the unfertilized ones.

As for its nutritional value, the issue whether fertile chicken eggs are healthier than unfertilized eggs remains up to this day a highly debatable one. If you want to get the most of the egg’s nutrients, go for the freshest eggs available. The longer eggs are kept, the more their protein content gets lost. Like they say, fresh is often best.


Do you know How to Sex Chickens with Feathers? Well it's Easy

Sexing baby chickens is not a very glamorous job but a necessary one. Wait until your chickens have lost their fuzz. Scoop up a group of feathers at the neck with an index card and examine the ends of the feathers. Rounded ends represent female and pointed ends are male. You can also pick up your chicken by the nap of the neck and lift off the ground. If the feet hang down, it is probably a male but if the feet are tucked up close to the body, it is a female.

 
 
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