If you want to hatch your own chicks, then you will need to know how to tell if a chicken egg is fertilized. When we first decided to hatch our own eggs, we wanted to make sure that our eggs would be good.
We got a trio of Jubilee Orpingtons as our first breeding chickens. We also ordered an incubator and all the chicken hatching supplies we needed. So then all we needed was fertilized eggs! We were waiting (impatiently) for our first eggs from the Orpingtons and we finally got one.
Then we thought, great, now how do we know if this chicken egg is fertilized?
You can always just take the chance and plug them into the incubator, wait a few days and then try candling. But, who wants to wait?!
So, how do you know if a chicken egg is fertile?
The best way to tell is to crack the egg open and look for a “bullseye”. The bullseye is actually called a blastoderm.
Even an unfertilized egg will have a white spot in it (which is actually a blastodisc). In the unfertilized egg, the white area is more of an irregular shaped area whereas in the fertilized egg it is a more circular defined area with a bullseye around it.
When we brought in our first Orpington egg and we eagerly cracked it open into a bowl.
We couldn’t see anything at first in the yolk, so we had to carefully turn the yolk over with a spoon. Luckily, we did find a bullseye!
If you look closely at the yolk above (toward the middle right) you can see a light bullseye. (It is difficult to get a good picture).
After you know your chicken eggs are fertilize, you can spend the next few days collecting eggs and then set them in an incubator (We recommend the Brinsea Eco 20 or the GQF Digital Sportsman Cabinet Incubator 1502).
We can’t wait to have little fluffy baby chicks running around. Do you check to see if your egg is fertile before starting to set eggs?
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