What are they?
Technically speaking, fertile eggs are where the ‘blastodisc’ turns into a ‘blastoderm’ - the first stage of a developing embryo. In layman's terms, it means the egg has been fertilized by a rooster and can develop into a baby chicken.
How much do they cost?
The cost generally depends on the breed of chicken you’re buying, and where. It can vary from $12-$25 eggs for a dozen.
Where do I find them?
There are many ways you can get your hands on some fertilized eggs:
Introduce a rooster to your flock
If you have a hen and a rooster, then you have the tools to produce fertile eggs! You can introduce a rooster to your flock for a period of time, or go ahead and purchase one if you want a continuous supply.
Hobby Farms and Sellers Most hobby farms that sell chickens will have a variety of fertile eggs which you can go and pick up yourself. If you are going to be transporting them in the car, try storing them in an egg carton, and make sure they’re cushioned as car rides can be rough on the cargo. Also, if you have transported them a long distance then make sure you give them a day to rest
Online There are a wide range of different websites that can post fertile eggs from a wide range of breeds to your doorstep if you don’t feel like going out the door. Make sure you go with a reputable place that actually takes care of their precious cargo, otherwise you might find yourself opening the door to a parcel of smashed eggs. Also be aware that whilst your package may say ‘fragile’, it may not be treated as such. It’s a bit of a gamble, so it’s up to you. There are a number of places in Australia that will post them, a simple Google search for local businesses will be the best option.
How do I know whether they will hatch?
To check how your fertile eggs are doing or whether there has been any damage, you should candle the eggs. This is done by holding a light source to the bottom of the egg, which illuminates its contents.
Things to look for:
- hairline cracks: if you see any fine cracks in the shell, probably best to just dispose of them as their chances of hatching are low
- air sacks: there is a visible air sac in the fertile egg, and sometimes transportation causes the air sac to break apart and ‘float’ around inside it. Generally this means that you should discard them as they will not hatch.
Fertile eggs are readily available from a number of sources, and you can buy eggs from a wide variety of breeds.
If you do choose to incubate your fertile eggs, you're about to embark on an amazing journey! Be sure to read our other comprehensive incubating articles to ensure you are well prepared for the rewarding process.