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Eating Fertilized Eggs and Vegetarianism  

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 

Does anyone have a problem with eating eggs from hens that are housed with a rooster?  My 14 year-old daughter is pitching a fit roll because we are getting 2 pullets and a roo this weekend.  She is vegetarian but eats eggs and milk if it is ethically raised, i.e. organic milk only and eggs from the farmer's market.  I suspect that our farmer's market eggs are probably fertile but now that she knows that WE are going to have a roo she is heartily annoyed and will not eat any future eggs if there is a possibility of them being "potential chicks."  The breeder will only sell the pullets with the roo.

Do any of you have experience with vegetarian friends or family members refusing to eat fertilized eggs but will eat sterile ones?  I told her that the hen will not brood every egg she lays and that if a hen gets broody I will not take those eggs from her but no dice.

Any advice?

post #2 of 52

tell her you castrated the roo.

I see your bones

Matt
I see your bones

Matt
post #3 of 52

Sounds like you are buying a breeding trio....

Do you really want the cockerel? The pullets don't need him to lay eggs. And even if you do have a male, it doesn't mean that all eggs laid are fertile. You could have him slaughtered if you are not planning on breeding the girls for future chicks or eggs to sell. If you're not going to use him for breeding, try to find him another place to live as soon as possible before you get attached. Maybe the person you are buying the birds from knows of someone who can take the male. You could put an ad in the Trade section of BYC, or an ad on your local freecycle.com, or check at your local feed store for people willing to take your male bird.

We recently refarmed one of our cockerels to a farm that just lost their rooster to a predator. This farm sells (to a specialty market) fertile eggs for eating. Maybe you could find someone like that for your male.

Our local farm market sells organic eggs that are from farms that my daughter and I visited. I wouldn't treat any of my animals the way some of those particular farms kept their chickens. I don't care if they are organically raised. Farm eggs labeled 'organically raised' does not equate to the birds having what I consider a good life for chickens.

Our daughter and grandkids are vegetarians. They eat our eggs because they know our eggs are healthier for them than store-bought and she knows how the birds are raised.

Good luck!
regards,
keljonma

if edited, probably for typos...


Edited by keljonma - 5/4/07 at 7:01am
post #4 of 52

Organic dosent mean ethically raised , oops hope your daughter dosent read this.

post #5 of 52

There are several forms of vegetarianism.  Your daughter is leaning toward vegan.  I sell my eggs to office workers but after an unhappy encounter with one of my customers several years back decided to be sure everyone knew there was a chance that some may be fertile.  I only keep my males with females when I want to hatch, but eggs can be fertile for up to 1 month after the male is removed and I won't throw those eggs away.
The unhappy customer was someone I worked with and I knew she was vegetarian, but to that point in time, had not heard about veganism.  She came to me red-faced one day and asked if the eggs I sell her are fertile.  I told her that some could be.  I thought she was going to pass out, she felt that strongly about the issue.
If fertile, that tiny little blastodisk on the surface of the yolk is an embryo waiting for the right conditions to grow, so you can't argue, it is a potential bird.
As keljonma advises, maybe it would be better to keep peace in the family and find a new home for the male.

James

post #6 of 52

JamesC, being a vegan means not eating any animal products whatsoever, not even honey, and not wearing leather, fur, wool, or silk.  So this lady who bought your eggs couldn't have been vegan, as she was "leaning" towards, because she wouldn't be eating eggs whatsoever.

Cackalacky, I would say that if you gather the eggs daily, fertilized or not, there isn't actually a "chick" there.  I sound like such a hypocrite, since I'm vegan!  I take eggs from my hens daily and I have four roosters that make their rounds, so I know that they're all fertilized.  But, if I left all the eggs there, I'd have 70 million baby chicks dashing about the place.  On another note, cows only give milk when they have a baby - just like humans - so she should educate herself on what happens to the calves of the cows that you get your milk from.  I'm not trying to get up on a soapbox here, but eating fertilized eggs from your own chickens that you care for and love, is much better than drinking milk from a cow that has her babies yanked away from her and sold or eaten, organic or not. 

Okay, I have to get up on the soapbox now - I hate those store egg cartons that say: Cage Free!  Free Range!  Organic!  Because they're all a bunch of crap!  People pay insane amounts of money for brown eggs that are from chickens housed in sheds, on disgusting dirty floor, thinking they're cage free.  Granted, they're not in a little wire box, but they are basically caged...it's just a bigger cage. ~ Oaknim

May all that have Life be delivered from suffering ~ Buddha
May all that have Life be delivered from suffering ~ Buddha
post #7 of 52

my best friends mom is vegetarian & she wont eat my eggs because I have a rooster.

post #8 of 52

you can always let the eggs sit for 12 days before eating them.  europeans do it all the time. letting their eggs sit on the counter instead of in the fridge like americans and any eggs older than 12 days, they're too old to become chicks....if she wants to get technical.

if she doesn't want to eat your eggs, tell her she doesn't need to eat them. tell her to go buy her own with her own hard earned money. and because she won't eat your eggs, you may have to rehome a rooster. do you know how HARD it is to find a good home for a rooster. she's pretty much putting a death warrant on that rooster. her actions are going to get a rooster killed. :|

LOL. i know it's serious for her, but i can go extreme too. wink

post #9 of 52

I have to confess.. I dont want to eat fertilized eggs :|
It stems from a bad experience I had as a kid. I did not eat chicken or eggs for years.
Funny thing is my husband and I are now raising our own chicks for eggs and we both have to get used to the idea, We are determined wink

post #10 of 52

I honestly don't see the big deal- if the egg is taken from the hen and put in your fridge- it is just that: an egg.  It is no longer a potential chicken, fertile or not.  JMO

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