Egg Question-Fertilized OR Not


11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
Greenwood, Arkansas
Without breaking open an egg... how would you know for sure it was fertilized?
Also, if they don't hatch and you break the egg open is the "bulls eye" still there or not there if it was never fertilized?
Thanks, M
I don't know of any way to tell if an egg is fertile or not until you crack it open to see. Here's a great thread that will help you decide whether the eggs are fertile or not, but you will have to break the egg open to tell. I also have never tried cracking one open after it's been incubated and not developed. I don't think I could stomach the smell!
I had en ebay seller send me nonfertile eggs then tell me that she "checks the fertility of each eagg and does not send any eggs that are not fertile".
I wanted to ask her if she super glued them back together...she then claimed that it was the post office fault. I wanted to write back and ask if she really wanted to claim they removed the dark brahmas from the light brahmas and just shock them!!!!
I have a question also, but about the first question.....I guess the only way I can tell is to candle them, if they are not developing at all I assume they are not fertile, this may not be the case but at least I can remove them.

My question is long after the hen is removed from a rooster are the eggs still fertile???

And if I change roosters, how long should I wait to be sure that the new roo is the daddy????

Any info will be appreciated, thanks
From what I have read, a hen can lay fertile eggs for up to a month after a mating so I would wait that long to be sure the eggs are from the new roo.

I opened my clears and blood rings on day 8 last time and the yolks just fell apart on all of them so I could not tell if there was a bullseye or not. They didn't smell at that point.
Thanks for quick reply about the time period of fertile eggs.
So it is possible that the hen I removed from the rooster, who has now laid and egg and trying to set, might just have chicks in there if she lays a few more?
She has been by herself for just a day and as soon as she got in a place alone she laid an egg!!!!!!
Thanks again
Thanks to Gumpsgirl, Farrier!, silkielovr,justmeandtheflock
and all who added to my question. I have broken open my eggs and checked for the "bullseye", to find a very large % of fertile eggs. After they don't hatch I don't open them.. I don't think the smell and I would do well together.. I throw them away, very carefully.
The link w/the "bullseye" pics are great.
I have hatched my own eggs, and had great hatches, then bought eggs, had great hatches, and 1 or 2 hatched from shipped eggs. I just think maybe sometimes, weather changes, do affect my hatch rate, temp., humidity, post office. I have shipped eggs, the buyers have had good hatches, bad hatches.. We never know, what happens in between. I am sure not complaining.
I just wanting to make sure there was not a secret to knowing if the eggs were fertile... w/o opening or putting them in the bator.
But, I figure that is a gamble I have to take to have different lines of chickens from fellow BYC. It is fun. BYC'ers are awesome. And I am just trying to learn.

If an egg doesn't develop when you incubate, it doesn't necessarily mean it was not fertile. And if you want to check after incubating, the yolk is very delicate and you can't crack it on the side of the counter to open it or you'll scramble it. You tap gently all the way around the egg with a table knife, then very carefully, almost lay the contents in the bowl.
Had one hen whose eggs were very much fertilized, but would never develop with the rooster she was with, chemistries didnt mesh or something. Must have incubated 50 of them over several months. They did develop with the other rooster, though.

And, no, you cannot know if an egg is fertile before either opening it and checking for the bullseye (not just the white spot) or incubating for several days and candling or opening it then.

After one successful mating, eggs are usually fertile two to three weeks, and in very rare occasions, an entire month.
Speckledhen, thanks so much for the additional info. I have had chickens for years.. but just over the last several had the time to really do much research.

So, after reading and hearing different topics. I always have a question.
Thanks, Melinda

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