How to tell if freshly-laid eggs are fertile?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by wullus, May 23, 2012.

  1. wullus

    wullus Chirping

    May 7, 2012
    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:

    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 :)
  2. I just pop them in the incubator and candle in five days! We're TERRIBLY scientific here [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  3. Here's a pic of a fertile egg. Since your rooster is active, and surely even if you aren't watching, you can be reasonably sure of them being fertile. Candling is best done at days 7 and 14......Pop

    1 person likes this.
  4. wullus

    wullus Chirping

    May 7, 2012
    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.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    This thread has some photos that can help.

    Fertile Egg Photos

    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.
  6. Julie08

    Julie08 Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Generally, if you have hens and roosters together the eggs are fertile. Good luck!
  7. wullus

    wullus Chirping

    May 7, 2012
    Queensland, Australia
    Thanks! I'll go have a look now, thanks for your help :)
  8. Krichie82

    Krichie82 In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2014
    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?
  9. sandesnow

    sandesnow Songster

    Nov 20, 2013
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Yes, you can eat them just fine like normal unfertilized eggs.
    1 person likes this.
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    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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