How to tell if freshly-laid eggs are fertile?

wullus

Chirping
7 Years
May 7, 2012
142
0
89
Queensland, Australia
I have a red star chook that is in the pen with a rooster (I forget the breed of him) I've seen him mount her once but it was a while ago (lol so it does happen). Anyway, I'm new to all of this, and I've just bought my own incubator:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/180889648224?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

What do you think about it?? :)

Anyway, I've been collecting the eggs lately, but I have absolutely no idea how to tell if the eggs are fertilized or not. I cracked one open and there was a tiny teeny small amount of white stuff that looked like it could be sperm connected into the yolk, but I was thinking it could just be nothing, and that it would be noticeable from outside the shell if you were candling the egg.

Would this mean the eggs are fertile? Or is it impossible to tell until they have been incubated for a few hours/days? Thanks heaps :)
 

wullus

Chirping
7 Years
May 7, 2012
142
0
89
Queensland, Australia


So I take it this wouldn't be a fertile one then? I'm talking about the white stuff that sorta looks like an arrow (just realized this yolk is in the shape of a heart haha). Or would it have just come out of shape after tipping the yolk out?

I'll try them anyway when I get this incubator, hopefully it works :) thanks.
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,429
14,995
727
Southeast Louisiana
This thread has some photos that can help.

Fertile Egg Photos
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16008&p=6

What you are looking for is the bull's eye. It can be on the bottom when you crack the egg, so you might have to very gently turn it over o find the blastoderm or bull's eye. I use a spoon to turn it over.

You cannot tell if an individual egg is fertile or not without cracking it unless you have some really high-tech equipment that can look for hormone levels. That's unrealistic for us. If you crack a few and they have the bull's eye, there is a real good chance the ones you don't crack also have it. The only way for us to be sure though is to incubate them.

I think you may have seen the chalaza. This is sort of a heavy whitish cord that acts like a spring. It holds the yolk in the middle of the egg. Ther chalaza has nothing to do with fertility.
 

Krichie82

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 9, 2014
38
2
36
So my question is this. Can you still eat freshly-laid fertile eggs? My hens (they aren't really mine. They're "strays" that have decided to stay) keep laying but they aren't sitting on them... at least not consistently. We acquired a rooster (he came out of nowhere). I was able to eat the eggs before he got here but now that's he's taken up permanent residence I'm not sure if I can still eat our eggs. I can't afford an incubator at this point but I'm working on it. I don't want all these beautiful eggs to go to waste so I was wondering if you could eat the eggs if you catch them as soon as their laid?
 

bobbi-j

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Mar 15, 2010
14,564
27,974
982
On the MN prairie.
So my question is this. Can you still eat freshly-laid fertile eggs? My hens (they aren't really mine. They're "strays" that have decided to stay) keep laying but they aren't sitting on them... at least not consistently. We acquired a rooster (he came out of nowhere). I was able to eat the eggs before he got here but now that's he's taken up permanent residence I'm not sure if I can still eat our eggs. I can't afford an incubator at this point but I'm working on it. I don't want all these beautiful eggs to go to waste so I was wondering if you could eat the eggs if you catch them as soon as their laid?
You can eat them any time after they are laid. They won't start to develop until they have been incubated (either by a hen or in an incubator) for about 24 hours at approximately 100*. I collect my hens' fertile eggs once a day and there are no problems.
 

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