Can you tell an egg's fertility early enough to eat it if it's not?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by artist chick, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. artist chick

    artist chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are new-ish to chickens, and an older hen who had stopped laying was given to us a few weeks ago. Well, in the past 10 days she's laid 8 beautiful brown eggs! We are very excited and want her to hatch them out.

    We were given an older rooster at the same time we got her, and we've seen him mate with her, but only a few times. Point is- it seems silly to let those eggs sit in that nest only to rot and be thrown away if they haven't been fertilized, but if they are we want her to hatch them if she will. Is there a way to tell within a day or two after she lays them? we'd love to just take unfertilized ones inside to eat, leaving fertilized ones for her to brood if she decides to.

    Am I being too optimistic? Thank you for all your help!
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Leaving eggs in the nest will not entice your hen to sit and hatch eggs.It is a hormal thing and at this timeof the year mosst hens have no interest in hatching eggs. Some hens never go broody in their life and never hatch eggs. You shouldcollect the eggs daily and not leave themin the nest.

    Eat the eggs. Fertile/non-fertile you won'tbe able to tell the difference.
     
  3. artist chick

    artist chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your reply, Miss Prissy. [​IMG] This issue isn't whether or not to eat them if they've been fertilized- we know we can eat them either way and it won't be a problem. The issue for us right now is that my husband is determined to let this little lady have a chance to be a mama. He wants more chickens, and babies from her if possible. [​IMG]

    So... even though I've suggested quite a few times in the past week that we should go ahead and be eating them, he wants to leave them just in case she decides to go broody and they are fertilized. I just thought that it would simplify matters if we could tell immediately somehow if they'd been fertilized. Then we could go ahead and eat them instead of waiting for her to try to hatch them, if she will.
     
  4. Ivagrovegirl

    Ivagrovegirl Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't know of anyway to tell immediately. My dad was like that, very stubborn. LOL
    Good luck,
    Emily:)
     
  5. artist chick

    artist chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL, thanks, Emily! [​IMG]

    He said we'd give her another week to go broody. Then he wants to borrow an incubator and try to do it ourselves! Never mind we'll be traveling for Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks... he said we'll just take the incubator with us. :eek:

    Ah, well. We are learning as we go!
     
  6. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    To check the fertility you could crack one or two open and look for the bullseye.

    If you want to try and see if she will go broody, you could always swap the eggs for golfballs. I have a hen right now that is brooding a golf ball, and she hisses and sqwauks about it just like it is an egg. Then just store the eggs at about 55 degrees for up to 10 days, and if she does go broody you could trade her back. The eggs should still be all right to eat.
     
  7. artist chick

    artist chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, Shelley, that's a great idea! We may try that- I'll pass along the suggestion to my husband, the keeper of the golf balls. [​IMG]

    We have 9 eggs now!
     

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