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Can't find the answer about eggs...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mcdaid36, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. mcdaid36

    mcdaid36 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have searched the posts, read books, but still can't find out the answer to this question. I'm new to the whole cicken world, expecting my chicks to come the first week of August. So here's the question - I know a hen lays an egg with or without a rooster. If there is a rooster in the pen with the hens, how do you know if the hens eggs have been fertilized? Can you eat these eggs? Do they only turn into chicks if you leave the hen to brood over them, but if you take them out every day and put them in the fridge they are edible? Also, if a hen lays 1 egg per day, does she stop laying when she's brooding? How does she end up with - let's say 5 eggs to brood on, and then they all hatch onor about the same day? I'm so confused.... [​IMG] Thanks for any and all help!
     
  2. LinckHillPoultry

    LinckHillPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2008
    Pennsylvania
    Yes, you can eat fertilized eggs. If you would like to know whether or not the rooster is fertilizing her eggs, put him in the pen with her and take one of the eggs she has laid and crack it open. If you see a little white "bulls-eye", then you will know the rooster has been doing his duty. If there is not white "bulls-eye", then he has not.
     
  3. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

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    If you have a rooster, your eggs will be fertilized!! There is a way to tell , but really, the rooster is going to service the hens, so you can count on it! Yes, you can eat the eggs...no differnce in taste or quality. If you collect the eggs every day, no fear on having chicks. Only if you let a brooding hen sit on the eggs or put in incubator than the eggs will hatch. A brooding hen will lay a clutch of eggs and will stop laying. If you take the eggs away, she'll still sit and be broody. Hope I answered your questions.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2008
  4. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:If there is a rooster in the pen, you can pretty much assume the eggs are fertile. These eggs are perfectly edible. They only turn into chicks when you allow the hen to set them. If you take them out every day and refridgerate them, you are stopping the growth process.

    A hen does stop laying eggs when she's broody. She ends up with 5 or more eggs because she waits until there is a sufficient number in the nest before she sets. They all hatch on the same day because she started incubating them all the same day, the eggs will not develop unless the hen sets them. That's why you can collect eggs laid throughout a week and put them in the incubator and they all hatch out the same day, development doesn't start without the heat from incubation. A hen will kinda "stockpile" the eggs and then when she thinks there is enough, she goes broody and starts setting all the eggs at once, she will also stop production.

    Need any more help? Did I answer your questions well enough? I hope I've been a help![​IMG]

    -Kim
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2008
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    I had to look all this up too, when I got chickens, and I'm a biologist, so don't feel bad at all -- they are NOT stupid questions and the answers are NOT at all obvious [​IMG]

    Quote:You can't tell just by looking, you would have to break them open.

    Can you eat these eggs? Do they only turn into chicks if you leave the hen to brood over them, but if you take them out every day and put them in the fridge they are edible?

    Yes. Fridgerating them stops development, they will be basically like an unfertilized egg.

    Also, if a hen lays 1 egg per day, does she stop laying when she's brooding? How does she end up with - let's say 5 eggs to brood on, and then they all hatch onor about the same day?

    She lays an egg a day (or whatever) til she has a full clutch, then she quits laying and starts seriously setting. Since the embryo does not really get off its tiny lil butt and start developing til it is at 'hen temperature', they all end up roughly synchronized according to the time she starts sitting on 'em.

    hth,

    Pat​
     
  6. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Very true ...she will only start to set on them when she feels she has enough or you have provided eggs for her to set...they will usually all hatch the same day unless another hen as laid acouple later in with her clutch....

    Most roosters are fertile...once in a blue moon there is a dud!! or a hen isn't being mated.....best to crack a few and look for the fertile disc....

    No difference in taste on fertile or non-fertile...
     
  7. warren

    warren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    These are really good questions.
    After the hen has laid an egg and got up and walked away the egg gets cold. It goes into a kind of hibernation. The same happens to the next few eggs until the hen decides that she has enough. When she sits on the eggs and warms them up they start to develop all together.
     
  8. mcdaid36

    mcdaid36 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank yo so much for all of your answers. I completely understand now!
     
  9. tigger65

    tigger65 Out Of The Brooder

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    ok look for a "bullseye" or a "fertile disk" is that the small membrane on one end of the inside of the egg,
     
  10. Animallover606

    Animallover606 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you don't want to crack them open then you could candle theeggs iff you don't want to waist an egg [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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