How to Tell If an Egg Is Fertilized

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Estimated reading time: 2 min

People who get fresh eggs often wonder if they are fertilized. Nobody wants to crack open an egg with a baby chick developing inside. To understand how it works, you need to understand the process of how eggs become fertilized and then turn into baby chicks.

When a rooster mates with a hen, she can lay fertilized eggs anywhere from two days to three weeks after the mating. However, the egg does not develop into a chick unless it is incubated by the hen. This means that a freshly laid egg that has not been sat on may be fertilized but it will not have a baby chick growing inside of it. Read on to learn how to tell if an egg is fertilized.

Hold it up to a Candle

One of the oldest ways to tell if an egg is fertilized is to hold it up to a candle. You can use a bright flashlight instead. Make sure that you are in a dark room. When you hold the light up to the egg, look to see if it appears opaque or clear. If it appears opaque and you can’t see through the egg, there is a good chance that it is fertilized.

If you want to test it further, let the hen sit on it for four or five days and repeat this test. The egg should start to show the formation of a baby chick. It will appear to be veins spreading throughout the egg. You can compare it to other eggs and you will be able to see a difference.

Know Where You Bought it

If you bought your eggs from the grocery store and they came from a big commercial farm, you can safely assume that they are not fertilized. The reason is that these hens are never in contact with a rooster. Hens do not lay fertilized eggs unless they have been with a rooster.

If you got your eggs from a local farmer, they probably are fertilized. Most local farmers have hens and roosters and they lay fertilized eggs. However, these eggs are gathered daily before they have a chance to develop into a chick. If you have any questions, you can always ask the farmer.

The important thing to remember is that you can eat an egg whether it is fertilized or not. The fact that it is fertilized does not mean that a baby chick has begun developing inside. The egg has to be incubated before a chick can start to form.

Look for a Germinal Disc

When you crack an egg open, you can tell if it is fertilized by examining the yolk. A fertilized egg will have a germinal disc, which is a small white spot that is floating above the surface of the yolk. If the egg is sterile, it will have only the cells of the hen and it will be completely white. If the egg is fertilized, it will have both the cells of the hen and the rooster merged together. The disc will look like a white donut or a target with a bullseye.

It is important to note that even if it is fertilized, it is perfectly safe to eat. Until or unless the egg is incubated, it will not develop into a chick. You will not be able to taste a difference.

Eggs might be fertilized but they do not begin developing into baby chicks until a hen starts laying on them. Sometimes hens will lay eggs and then start sitting on them when they are all laid. When this happens, all of the eggs start developing at the same time. The egg will not develop at all unless it is incubated by the hen or in an incubator. You can tell the difference between a fertilized and a sterile egg but as long as it hasn’t been incubated, you can cook it and eat it.

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