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Fertile Eggs

by (1307)
Updated about 5 hours ago
Created September 25, 2011 at 10:04 PM

I bought "fertile eggs" today at the health food store. What's the difference (besides the obvious)? Are these nutritionally superior to non-fertile eggs?

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1307 · October 21, 2012 at 4:52 AM

Well, that's not a big selling point for me, because I want plenty of healthy cholesterol in my eggs.

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15226 · September 26, 2011 at 3:59 AM

I've been buying fertile eggs for years, leave them out on my counter, and eat them raw. They don't need special handling.

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3914 · September 26, 2011 at 12:46 AM

You need a rooster if you want to hatch the eggs and get more chickens. Otherwise, he's just a noisy feed eater, although he may make some attempt to protect the hens from predators during the day.

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3914 · September 26, 2011 at 12:43 AM

Yes, the "I once cracked an egg and a half-formed chick fell out" stories people tell have to be mostly urban legend. Most hens never see a rooster, because they don't need one to lay eggs, so egg producers have no reason to keep roosters around and feed them. So the egg has to be from a small producer that keeps roosters (not likely found in the grocery store), *and* it has to have been under a hen or in an incubator for at least several days. It takes about 8 days for the embryo to get large enough to be recognizable, so just forgetting to gather the eggs for a couple days won't do it.

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41422 · September 25, 2011 at 11:45 PM

Which is why you always crack eggs into another small cup and not the frying pan or mixing bowl. Bad eggs happen.

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20519 · September 25, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Fertile eggs aren't more nutritious than non. They definitely cost more, as they need special handling, and do not keep as long.. kinda delicate so eat them asap. Basically unless you want to raise chickens - no need to buy :)

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2936 · September 25, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Sounds like a sales gimmick. I thought all eggs were fertilized. Otherwise, why would the hen shunt so many calories to her uterus? When would we need roosters, for that matter? Why would the farmer wake up in the morning?

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5 Answers

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1035 · September 25, 2011 at 11:52 PM

As far as eating goes, fertile eggs are no different than unfertile eggs, nutritionally or taste-wise or otherwise.

Fertile eggs Are different in that they have the Potential to develop into chicks, ONLY if they are incubated for 20-21 days at critical temperatures and humidity levels. During incubation the fertilized blastoderm (a tiny white speck on the outside of the yolk) divides into multiple cells to form the developing chick. The yolk itself is only the food source for the growing chick - it never becomes the chick. All egg yolks, whether from fertile or unfertile eggs, have a blastoderm speck. But a fertile blastoderm will have a white ring around it, like a bullseye.

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3914 · September 26, 2011 at 12:43 AM

Yes, the "I once cracked an egg and a half-formed chick fell out" stories people tell have to be mostly urban legend. Most hens never see a rooster, because they don't need one to lay eggs, so egg producers have no reason to keep roosters around and feed them. So the egg has to be from a small producer that keeps roosters (not likely found in the grocery store), *and* it has to have been under a hen or in an incubator for at least several days. It takes about 8 days for the embryo to get large enough to be recognizable, so just forgetting to gather the eggs for a couple days won't do it.

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3219 · September 25, 2011 at 10:58 PM

I don't think they're nutritionally superior.

http://www.chinovalleyranchers.com/egg_faq.asp

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250 · September 25, 2011 at 11:27 PM

I have raised chickens for years and not all eggs are fertile. They are only fertile if you have roosters with the hens. But all that means is there is a developing embryo on the side of the yolk; you can see it. So of course you want to keep the eggs refrigerated so the embryo does not begin to grow, though in some cultures these are considered a delicacy! I doubt they are any more nutritious simply because of the fertilization.

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78417 · September 25, 2011 at 11:25 PM

They can get pretty creepy if they are kept too long- anyone remember the red bloody egg that was in another post?

There are not many things as gross as cracking a fresh egg into a frying pan and having a partially formed chick fall out.

All it means is that there is at least one rooster running with the flock of hens and you could incubate the eggs and get chicks if you wanted.

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41422 · September 25, 2011 at 11:45 PM

Which is why you always crack eggs into another small cup and not the frying pan or mixing bowl. Bad eggs happen.

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0 · October 20, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Fertile eggs ARE healthier because they have more Lecithin to counter the cholesterol!

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1307 · October 21, 2012 at 4:52 AM

Well, that's not a big selling point for me, because I want plenty of healthy cholesterol in my eggs.

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