Hatching store bought eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Maria G, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. Maria G

    Maria G Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 1, 2015
    We had a fun story in the newspapers last year, of someone who buy ordinary eggs in the store and successfully hatching a couple of chicks. Since them, more people have tried, and there are several stories of successful hatches.

    Is this common in the US? I live in Norway where eggs are farmed in rather industrial settings, and the eggs are stamped, though I am not sure they are washed. The eggs in the stories were free range, but not organic/farm bought.

    Tempted to try it myself, but I breed a special breed, so I don't want to mix it up....
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    Can't happen in the US with any commercial egg - they don't have roosters [​IMG]

    And here "free range" label is allowed by the FDA if the chickens can only put one foot outside..[​IMG] But they are still confined to cages.
  3. Maria G

    Maria G Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 1, 2015
    Well, supposedly we don't have any roosters here either. My grandparents/aunt ran a commercial egg farm, and they discovered that they had 2999 hens and 1 rooster in their latest shipment... So I guess mistakes can happen, and if they are free range, then miracles happen :)
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There is more variety in the egg business than some people might assume. The standard model for the vast majority of eggs sold at the store is an egg from a hen raised in a henhouse with maybe 5,000 other hens and no roosters. Those eggs won’t often be fertile. I’ll get to that below. Some stores sell organic free range eggs and label them as such. As Sunflour said, those labels don’t mean much. Those eggs are extremely unlikely to be fertile either in a big box store. You might have better luck at a “natural” or “whole” food store, but then you might not. At a farmer’s market you can actually talk to people that are supposed to know if the eggs are fertile.

    Some stores sell eggs labeled “fertile”. There is a niche market for those. They are normally not handled in a way to maintain fertility but there is a thread on here about hatching Trader Joe’s eggs. Trader Joe’s is an organic and fresh food chain here in the states.

    Hatcheries produce a lot of fertile eggs. Sometimes they have more than they need, especially out of hatching season, so some of these extras can find their way into the food chain. It’s better to sell them for something instead of just throwing them in the trash.

    I’m not familiar with what “free range” means in Norway. In the states it means practically nothing. If you put a 1 meter x 1 meter wire cage on the hen house with 5,000 hens that sees the sun you can call them free range.

    Then you have parthenogenesis. I don’t remember the details but on occasion a hen will lay a fertile egg with no rooster around. It’s been studied and developed more in turkeys than chickens. You can look it up. It’s possible some of those commercially produced eggs without a rooster around will actually hatch. Not many, but don’t underestimate life.

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