Question about eating fertile eggs

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by newchickmom09, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. newchickmom09

    newchickmom09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2009
    My ducks are now 10 and 12 weeks old. Well this weekend for the first time I saw my male on top of my female in our pond. They were flapping everywhere so I assume they were doing the deed. When she finally starts to lay her eggs they will be fertile. We really wanted her eggs for cooking.
    So my questions are
    1. when we collect them from her can we still eat them
    2. what is the time frame for storing them
    3. if they are fertile then will the ducklings continue to grow after we take the eggs away and put them in the fridge

    I really don't know how all of that works out. [​IMG]
  2. babymakes6

    babymakes6 Gifted

    Feb 24, 2009
    far west Ohio
    There really is no difference between fertile and infertile eggs, except that if you put an infertile egg in an incubator it will rot, but a fertile one will develop into a baby. [​IMG]
  3. greyhorsewoman

    greyhorsewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Endless Mts, NE PA
    1) Absolutely !!

    2) Weeks, possibly months if refrigerated.

    3) No
  4. L0rraine

    L0rraine Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2009
    Whidbey Island
    Yep, they don't really start 'developing' unless they are in an incubator or under a full time broody duck. We've added a rooster (accidentally) to our chicken flock and we haven't noticed any difference with the eggs and I'm assuming the duck eggs are the same.
  5. cwhit590

    cwhit590 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2008
    SW Michigan
    Fertile eggs are perfectly fine for eating! Like babymakes5 said, newly laid fertile eggs and infertile eggs pretty much look the same.

    Don't's not like ducklings are going to be jumping out at you when you crack open your first few fresh eggs....[​IMG]

    You just want to collect them right away and store them in the fridge...the cool temp prevents the embryo from developing.

    (In order for the embryo to develop fully into a duckling it needs heat and humidity for several weeks, as in under a broody hen or in an incubator.)
  6. txredneckmedic

    txredneckmedic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    can u put fertile eggs in the fridge and then take them out later to incubate?
  7. newchickmom09

    newchickmom09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2009
    Thank you everyone. [​IMG] I was hoping that is what all the answers were going to be.

    greyhorsewoman: 2) Weeks, possibly months if refrigerated.

    What is recomended on storing the eggs. Out on the counter or in the fridge how long for both? Do you need to wash them I have read mixed things on that?​
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  8. greyhorsewoman

    greyhorsewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Endless Mts, NE PA
    In my experience, most of my ducks eggs require washing. Ours free range and lay them all over the place and rare is the one I find that looks pristine. We provide an area of nice hay that they bed down on and lay most of the eggs, but even there they are not totally clean.

    I've found duck eggs to be somewhat hardier than chicken eggs, maybe because the shells seem thicker? I don't refrigeratate my duck eggs immediately. Mostly because I don't have time every day to clean them. Once I clean them, I do try to get them in the refrigerator soon after that. However, I have a BUNCH of ducks and earlier this year we were getting nearly a dozen a day and I got overwhelmed (no more room in the refrigerator and couldn't even GIVE them all away fast enough). Found out most of them fared quite nicely in my little back room for most of the spring/early summer.

    We don't have air-conditioning, so I've been more vigilant during the hotter months (July/August). ex.= In mid-June I passed on about 7 dozen unrefrigerated duck eggs to my daughter that were up to 1 week old or more. They traveled in a car for 5 hours. She put them in the refrigerator and used up the last one early SEPTEMBER. She found 2 'not so fresh' eggs in the whole bunch~~!
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    What greyhorsewoman said. [​IMG]

    Also, you *can* incubate eggs that have been in the fridge, and may have success. It has certainly been done before. However, if you intend to incubate, it is better to keep them in a cool but not cold location--most air conditioned homes are fine for this purpose, although if you can get the eggs to between 50 and 60 degrees, that it ideal (but not practical nor necessary for most of us).

    If you have eggs you want to eat and you're not sure if they're still good, you can always try the float test. Just fill a bowl with water and put the eggs in. Any that float are bad. Any that sink and lay flat are good. If they sink but sit vertically or almost vertically in the water, they are getting close to the end of their useful life and should be used immediately.

    The reason this works is that moisture evaporates slowly from the egg as it ages. As the moisture evaporates, it is replaced with lighter air inside a growing air cell inside the egg. This larger air cell naturally means the egg weighs less and therefore eventually causes the egg to float, conveniently around the same time that the egg is getting too old to eat.
  10. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008
    Quote:Actually the embryo starts to develop before the egg is laid. By the time the egg is laid the embryo will consist of 8-16 cells. Depending on the ambient temp & the time the female remains on the nest it may continue to develop in the nest before being collected. As the temp decreases cell division slows & ultimately stops. Refrigeration completely stops the process. Even though some development has occurred before refrigeration the eggs are fine to eat & the embryo still is not visible to the naked eye.

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