ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Tell if Your Chicken Eggs are Fertile

Updated on May 10, 2011

How do I know if my chickens are laying fertile eggs?

Chicken owners of newly laying hens often find themselves asking, "How do I know if my chickens are laying fertile eggs?" Whether you want your chickens to raise a brood or to incubate your own, or, if you simply just want to know, use the information and images below to answer your question of chicken egg fertility.

Q&A on Common Chicken Questions and Misconceptions

Do I need a Rooster? If so, how old does he need to be?

There are a couple of great reasons to have a rooster!

Let's clear up a few questions first. Chickens, 20 weeks of age and older, will lay eggs without a rooster. A rooster is only needed when you want fertile eggs. However, a rooster will also crow when protecting his hens, so he makes a great watchdog (and alarm clock) for you and your Chickens. Fertilized eggs are edible; and many people say they actually taste much better, than infertile eggs. Therefore, for fertile eggs, the first thing you will need is a rooster older than 5 months (about 20 weeks), as this is when they begin to become ready to fertilize a hen. Fertilizing leaves the hen with enough sperm to fertilize each egg she lays for a week or so. You only need one rooster; more than one becomes a daily dominance battle of age-old cockfighting.

When do hens start to lay?

You need an egg laying hen, or hens. Hens are ready to lay eggs usually between 4 or 5 months old (about 20 weeks old, or sometimes a bit sooner), however, weather also has a good deal to do with laying times. If temperatures are below freezing, or well above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, your chicken(s) may not lay, of course there are always exceptions to your chickens' rules.

Do I need to build a Nester?

When your chickens first began to lay eggs you may find the eggs just about anywhere; including the middle of the pen. However, you can prepare for this, in advance, by building (or purchasing) a good laying box. Fill it with straw and refresh it at least once every two weeks; as hens sometimes soil the nest when they are laying. If an egg becomes broken, remove it, and replace the straw.

Having a laying box, ensures that your chickens will lay in the same place and that you are gathering fresh eggs. If you do not have a nester, eggs maybe difficult to find and you will not know exactly when the egg was laid.

Here it is: How to Actually Tell if your Eggs are Fertile

Is it Fertile or Infertile?

To check the fertility of an chicken egg, simply break an egg or egg(s) in a smooth bowl. You should see a white mark on the yolk. If you do not, use a spoon to flip the yolk over until you locate it.

If the egg is fertile, the white mark will be nearly perfectly round and in the center it will be yellow; it will resemble a donut. If it is infertile, the white mark will not be very round, and in most cases, smaller than that of the fertile mark. If the egg is not fertile, the 'white mark' is called a "blastodisc". If the egg is fertile, the 'white mark' it is called a "blastoderm", and this means that cell division,because of fertilization, occurred.

Farm Fresh or Store Bought? - Take Poll #1

Select below the type of eggs you buy.

Do you prefer store bought eggs or farm 'fresh' eggs?

See results

'Make your own' baby chicks!

Once you are able to decipher fertile and infertile eggs, and find that your hens' eggs (or most of them) are fertile, then you can proceed with any plans of your hen(s) hatching eggs, or an adventure in incubating your own eggs and hatching chicks. You can purchase a good egg incubator at your local feed store. Of course you can always continue eating chicken eggs instead!

Please rate this artilce at eHow! Thanks!

Extra Tips

Good things to know:

* You may want to purchase store bought eggs, (don't get 'farm fresh' as they just might accidentally be fertile), to compare with your eggs; so that you may learn to more easily decipher the blastodisc or blastoderm.

* Fertile eggs are edible, and many people claim much tastier, than infertile eggs.

* Many people believe that a blood speck in eggs means they are fertile. This however is not the case. The blood speck is simply that, and is in the egg, because it seeped in as the egg was being formed. You will find this in both fertile and infertile eggs, and the egg is perfectly edible.

* If you find yourself with fertile eggs, you can either eat them, or decide to incubate and hatch them, or, let your hens hatch and raise their own brood. If you decide to incubate them, you will want to learn to candle the eggs to watch the growth of the embryo.

* The white ropey strands in an egg are called chalazae, and again do not means it's fertile. This is simply a band that is attached from the yolk to the shell, to hold the yolk in place. It does not act like a human umbilical cord, as the embryo receives all of its nutrition from the yolk. The Chalaza is more prominent the fresher the egg is.

* You only need one rooster to fertilize all of your hens (he can easily fertilize a dozen to two dozen hens).

Warnings!!

Be aware:

* More than one rooster results in dominance battles and cockfights.

* If you find your rooster on top of one of your hens and flapping his wings, he is not hurting her; he is attempting to copulate with her in order to fertilize her eggs.

Videos

Mini Incubator For Kids To learn On
Mini Incubator For Kids To learn On

Homeschool? This is a GREAT product to teach children about hatching eggs, fertility, and nature in general!

 
Brower 404B Poultry 4-Hole Nest
Brower 404B Poultry 4-Hole Nest

Too Lazy to build a Nester! Here ya go!

 

Egg Whites Only!! - Take Poll #2

My husband has a weird quirk.

He's not watching his cholesterol, he just can't stand yolks!

He'll eat deviled eggs, but with hard boiled eggs he removes the yellow center. To him 'fried eggs' are best only if the yolk is removed before cooking!

Do you eat egg yolks?

See results

Drop me a yolk...

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Johnb299 

      4 years ago

      I like this site it's a master peace ! Glad I observed this on google. The definition of a beautiful woman is one who loves me. by Sloan Wilson. fdgddfeeeegg

    • profile image

      amber 

      4 years ago

      that was very helpful thank you

    • Tom Maybrier profile image

      Tom Maybrier 

      6 years ago

      Cool lens - once you raise your own laying hens, you can never enjoy a grocery store egg again. I don't have chickens of my own anymore, so now I have to get them from the farmer's market.

      I'm definitely looking forward to having chickens again!

    • alexandradouglas profile image

      Alexandra Douglas 

      6 years ago from Florida

      Good info. I have a poultry farm and am a breeder so I love lenses like this!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      The information and the detail were just perfect. Many thanks for this very useful info you have provided us.

      Over the counter fertility medicine at www.all-generic-drugs.com

    • hysongdesigns profile image

      hysongdesigns 

      6 years ago

      How fun, you are really making me miss my chickens! and their huge delicious bright orange yolked eggs!

    • luvsdragonflies1 profile image

      luvsdragonflies1 

      6 years ago

      Great Lens Thanks for sharing

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)