Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Will I find an Unhatched Chick in the Eggs from the Store?

Have you ever wondered what are the chances of finding an unhatched, but partially formed chick, are in the eggs you buy from the grocery store?  We sometimes hear "stories" of this happening, but does it really occur?

Chances are what some people think is a growing chick is actually the tiny strands that hold the yolk in place in the center of the egg.  These strands are white and break when the egg is cracked.  They snap back next to the yolk and could look like a tiny growing chick.

Blood spots in eggs are also natural and are not a growing chick.

There are actual reasons why the chances of finding a chick in an egg from the grocery store are zero.  In fact the ONLY way this would happen in grocery store eggs is if somebody intentionally took a fertilized egg and stuck it in with the other eggs as a prank.

In the egg industry chicks are sexed at the age of one day, females have their beaks cut, wings cut, get vaccinated, and get sent off to grow up.  Male chicks are mostly put into a meat grinder.  As such there are no males with the hens that will be laying eggs.  Mature hens lay eggs daily even without a male present.  With no rooster around the eggs are not fertile and cannot grow chicks.

Further more the eggs roll away from the hen instantly and are chilled; as such even if a rooster had been with the hen the egg would never be incubated (warmed) enough for a chick to grow inside.  Before they are put into their cartons, they are screened and any egg with an anomaly is removed, so even if there was a chance of an unhatched chick being in an egg, the screening process would have those eggs culled.

On rare occasion when people claim they find an actual chick in the egg it is usually a prank or a major mistake with "farm fresh" eggs; if somebody was very sloppy in collecting the eggs and took one that had been incubated for at least 10 days.

One of my hens.

Read How Chicken Eggs are Formed - freaky pictures - be warned

Remember, to buy eggs from happy hens, always pick those sold at the farmer's market where the hens are cage free.


  1. Ive had this happen. Was disgusting and definitely a partially formed chicken.

  2. Many people say it is impossible to be in this situation, but I had. I had been in this situation, and believe me it is discusting.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this article. I found it very interesting