Why fertile chicken eggs?

In the more crunchy-granola groceries in my area (Whole Foods, etc) the egg department provides a bewildering variety of options: brown, white, 4 sizes, cage-free, organic…and fertile.

If your only plan for the eggs is to make an omelet, why would you want fertilized eggs?

There’s a bunch of woo about increased nutritional properties. It’s complete bullshit.

“Waiter? May I have a gluten-free Moons Over My Hammy? Extra fetus, please”

Eggland sells eggs with added omega 3s. Those eggs do have the added omega 3s because they are fed to the hens. Many websites say that is bs, but a recent article in CSIP’s newsletter stated that they do have omega 3s and are healthier.

What does that have to do with the OPs questions about fertilized vs. unfertilized eggs?

My WAG was going to be that it implies to the consumer that the chicken had a more “natural” life, but then again, I had not encountered any nutritional claims.

In fact, now that I think about it, a fertilized egg would be LESS nutritious, not more, since the developing embryo uses the yolk for its own metabolism. Are people making this claim because they’re thinking of sprouted seeds (which have enzymes not found in dormant seeds) and confuse the two?

An embryo doesn’t start developing until the egg has been properly incubated, if I’m recalling my 1st grade biology correctly. Otherwise it’s just a “normal” egg, with possibly an insignificant amount of additional, um, “protein.” Personally, I like my eggs sans rooster jizz. Ewww.

I’d imagine it’s merely the egg industry taking advantage of people’s ignorance and false assumptions and using the opportunity to charge them a little more. Frankly I can’t really blame them for that.

I’ve seen two reasons given. First is the health camp: they claim that fertilized eggs are healthier for you, and some claim that fertilized eggs have no cholesterol.

The other camp thinks it means that the chickens are actually free-range (and therefore more humane for the chickens), as opposed to the “there’s an open window here for 15 minutes a day” that is passed off as free-range today.

I’m sure there are some people who believe both, but the arguments are generally presented separately.

Whether or not either of the claims are true, I have no idea.

You guys familiar with the Chinese and Filipino habit of eating boiled fertilized duck eggs? I eat the thing but only the yellow part, and I slurp the broth which is tasty. But others relish eating the chick that may already have a beak and feathers on it. I pass on that. I haven’t heard of any western tourist to the Philippines who was brave enough to try it.

I’m pretty sure you can’t scramble a fertilized egg beyond the 5th day. And it will look weird when fried beak side up.

Since fertilized eggs have to be incubated to grow (and eventually hatch), I’m guessing that these are *dead *fertilized eggs. In the US, we stock eggs in the refrigerated section, even at Whole Foods. (Sorry to sound patronizing if you knew that, I have no idea what country you hail from, and I know lots of countries keep eggs unrefrigerated.)

Because fertilized eggs are the natural state of eggs, which makes them good for your health. You know, like U-235.


Never been the Philippines, but I have had balut (spelling?). I wont be having it again any time soon, though… acquired taste I simply haven’t acquired.

Mmmm…scrambled beaks. With hash browns. Fertilized, of course.

The poor chicks are definitely boiled alive and fresh in my place.

Sometimes they have blood in them even when fresh and the chick is still a cluster of cells. If you are getting farm eggs they likely will be fertilized. You don’t have to keep a rooster to get eggs, but hens lay more regularly if you do.

Hens do not lay more regularly with a rooster. In fact they might be more stressed and lay less. Roosters are horndogs that never leave the hens alone, by and large. Right now I have a (borrowed) rooster because I am hoping one or more of my hens will set a clutch and raise some chicks for me. So far no one appears interested, even the ones who set last year.

There is no other use for a rooster except soup, and a wake up call in the morning if you like getting up before dawn.

The blood you sometimes see in an egg has nothing to do with fertilization, it’s a teeny burst blood vessel in the egg development process.

Fertilized eggs, what a crockobaloney.

edited to add: actually roosters are pretty and you can use their hackle feathers for fly tying. So I lied.

[quote=“Zero-syde, post:10, topic:683638”]

That’s what I was wondering if this thread was about–balut. I’ve seen it in the US in a couple of places (both duck and chicken balut). But I haven’t noticed this other fertilized egg business which, presumably, doesn’t include a half-formed chick in the egg. Is this something new?

My wife just told me that at her (basically orthodox) Jewish house the egg would never be eaten, because it contained life.

Just reportin’.

Well, at least it implies that before the egg got laid, the hen got laid.

but hen period is okay?:eek:

Yeah, I mean, it comes out of a chicken’s arse. Ewww.

[quote=“Zero-syde, post:10, topic:683638”]

Because fertilized eggs are the natural state of eggs, which makes them good for your health. You know, like U-235.

Here’s a link to a Wiki Article on Balut


I was raised on a farm and there is so much science now that goes into laying eggs it’s hard to generalize. Some breeds of chicken lay more with a rooster others, as someone said, get stressed.

You can eat fertilized eggs and unless a hen is broody they’ll never develop. We would rarely get broody hens because the breeds we had that trait bred out of them.

The only thing I am aware of is the longer an egg develops the less protein it has, but the difference isn’t a huge deal anyway, so it seems you’d want as fresh an egg as possible.

Plus eggs are a magnet for vermin to attack chickens so you don’t want the eggs around too much.