Was it fertilized......or Not?


10 Years
Apr 5, 2009
Hi all,

Got a question that I can't seem to find an answer to on these forums. My BA went broody and as we don't have a rooster, I bought a dozen EE eggs from the auction here. 14 eggs arrived in great condition, I placed them under my hen at night and started the countdown. She had her own 'condo', complete with private penthouse nest box, view thru a window ramp to a small grass plot and fresh food and water.

Our hatch date was this past Sunday and yesterday; May 29-30. Hatching is now done and out of 14 eggs we have 3 live chicks, 2 chicks did not make it (looked squashed by momma) 2 chicks were not fully formed and dead and 7 eggs full of runny yolk. When I shook the eggs next to my ear they sounded full of liquid. I culled all 7 that sounded like this and they were just a golden yolk. A little smell to them, however definitely not a putrid, rotten smell.

Is this normal? My thought is they were not fertilized. If that is the case, I will e-mail the auction guy and tell him. What is the norm for purchasing fertilized eggs? I ordered 12, and got 14. Is this in case some are not fertilized? Or break? I guess, I just expected all the fertilized eggs to be well, fertilized!

Please help me understand this. It was my first time, hatching with a first time broody!

Thanks, Lisa
Hi Lisa,
I'm pretty new to this too, I had half of my batch make it to full term. The rest were like you describe just egg. I really think it's luck of the draw, the eggs you received weren't necessarily un-fertile, but it may be that things went wrong very early. The eggs may have been banged about or dropped in transit. The sellers can't tell how the eggs will turn out until they have been candeled at around six days, and obviously by then they are in your care. Maybe if you offer to pay for the shipping for some replacements they may send them to you just for the postage price?
Hope you have more luck in the future!
mother nature and a broody can't even produce good results after the post office does their thing. Shipped eggs is gambling plain and simple! I know it is tempting but just NOT practical. I start preaching about this but have to confess I just spent 150 on 14 peafowl eggs BUT they are coming overnight express in a horizon bird box. If that doesn't work any better I quit. I need to stay out of the casinos and the egg auctions! Good luck!
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Shipped eggs are a big gamble. I have spent a lot of money on shipped eggs and lets just say I would have done better just going to Vegas and spending it there.

But sometimes you just get lucky and get some nice looking birds that you wouldn't be able to find local.

And I belive if you can get one chick to hatch from shipped eggs then you should be happy no matter the price
Yes, they could have been fertilized. Eggs incubated for a few days have yolks that are extremely fragile. If nothing develops, all you'll have is sloshy stuff in there, especially if you shake them up like you mentioned you did.

Fertile eggs don't necessarily have to begin developing, especially if they were shipped. You can tell if they were fertile, but it's very difficult. You must use a knife and gently tap around the circumference of the egg (don't tap it on the counter), then carefully, pull the shell apart right on the bottom of a plate or bowl, and gently lay the yolk in a bowl. If it holds together, you may be able to see the blastodisc. If fertile, it will look like a bullseye with a ring around the center dot.
Thank You to all that responded! I feel a bit better now! I guess I didn't realize how rough the postal service can be.
I thought I was doing great by having all 14 eggs not broken upon arrival!

The 3 little ones are doing well and 1st time momma is a great teacher!

Again Thanks~!


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