How Long before a fertile egg becomes too fertile


8 Years
May 8, 2011
I am new to raising chickens and harvesting eggs. I have 13 hens (pulletts) and 4 roosters ( for now... 2 are about to go to the soup pot). I believe that I'm going to have plenty of eggs and would like to eventually sell or give away my excess eggs. I am concerned about selling someone eggs and them ending up with a nasty surprise. My hens just started laying about 2 weeks ago... so I have anxiously been looking for eggs!!! I gather my eggs every day and put them in the fridge. My hens seem to be a bit lazy so they don't lay until about 10 am.. so often I'm not able to gather eggs until after I get home in the evening. I wasn't too worried until I cracked open an egg tonight and it had what looked like about 1/4" by 1/10" little brown goober in it! I don't have a problem of carefully cracking my eggs and separating out such goobers... but I have some "city" folk who are interested in eggs that might not think thats ok! How long can egg be left out before this becomes a problem? Everything I read so far seems like an egg thats sat outside for 1/2 a day shouldn't have the beginnings of a chick in it yet! I would love some thoughts and opinions on this! I really don't want to get rid of all my roo's!! Im kind of attached to a couple of them!
What you saw was not a chick. It was what's usually called a meat fleck or something similar, it's just a glitch in the hen's laying process, more common in new layers as their bodies work out the process. Fertile eggs need to be incubated at almost 100 degrees for a few days to start a chick developing.
The "goober" I believe is called a meat spot and is common in beginners. I had quiet a few spots in mine when the girls started laying but now I rarely get any. I collect my eggs several times a day, since they lay at all times of the day. I'm also a stay-at-home mom so that isn't an issue for me. You shouldn't have any problem with afternoon pickups though.
Oh Good!!! It didn't seem like it should be the beginnings of a chick that fast!! I'm only getting an egg or two a day right now.. so we are able to keep up with them right now. Hopefully by the time I start getting an excess they will be egg laying pro's!!

Thanks for the info!
For a fertile egg to actually be something you don't want to eat, it needs to be under 98-101 degrees F temperature and around 30-50% humidity for at LEAST 62 hours.
Some of us never fridge our eggs and sell them to the customer this way as well. At any given time you may see all sorts of things in your home grown eggs and most customers I have understand this. As stated above, it takes some incubating to get a chick, so your eggs won't develop any chicks unless you have a broody sitting on them...merely being warm temps outside will not do this.
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Good to know. I was wondering about the same thing my husband is a bit freaked out be because we ended up keeping one rooster. He was all concerned about eating fertile eggs. This will reassure him.
Just curious since I am a beginner, too (without an egg yet, but I want to be prepared)~ Is there a way to tell if the eggs have the little meat spot in them (like you would candle a fertile egg)? I have gotten fresh farm eggs before that has this in it, and it can be a little gross. I know you can scoop it out with a spoon, but there is nothing like cracking open a hard boiled egg with crud in it or worse... a blood spot. How long doe sthis typically last? Or is it just something ongoing?
Do you eat steak? Steak has blood in it and it makes it tasty!
A little spot of blood isn't nasty, it is merely part of the egg and has no bad flavor or bad is just red blood cells, which are good nutrition. All the ick factor is just in folks' minds and hasn't anything to do with taste or the purity of the egg. The reason you don't see this in store bought eggs is that they cull all imperfect eggs with an automatic candler/sorting mechanism.

Me? I eat my steak medium rare, so blood is a natural thing to me. You can't even see that spot on the egg after it's cooked, so just don't mention it to anyone. My neighbor said she won't eat fertilized eggs because she can see the "sperm" in them!
Beekissed, thank you for offering your thoughts on this subject. Yours is solid reasoning. I'm continually puzzled by folks who will gladly eat eggs from a completely unknown origin, yet waffle over eating unbelievably fresh eggs, from local, healthy, extremely well-fed, happy hens. I guess some folks feel safer or ?

I feel the same as you regarding eggs...though I like my steak medium well!

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