The Mysterious Egg

a Chicken egg, Binovular

Image via Wikipedia

What do you know about eggs? They come from a chicken (or other poultry like ducks). But what more do you know?

Does a chicken need a rooster to “do his business” for her to produce an egg? Does the chicken produce eggs naturally or are they given something to make them lay?

Egg Egg Egg Egg

After I started selling eggs to the public, I realized how little people , actually know about this seemingly simple staple food. So for those of you who didn’t know the answer to the above questions (and are too embarrassed to ask), here are 5 things you may not have known about chickens and eggs…

1. A chicken lays eggs naturally, without a rooster being present or the use of any hormones.

2. If a rooster is present, and mates with the hen, the egg will be fertilized. HOWEVER the egg will only become a chick if the hen sits on the fertilized egg, or the egg is placed in an incubator.

3. It takes 21 days for a fertilized egg to become a chick.  This means that, just because a rooster is present and doing his duty, the egg will not be laid with a half grown chick inside. A  fertilized egg looks (and tastes) the same as an unfertilized egg. The only difference is the presence of a tiny white-ish dot on the fertilized egg. I don’t need to tell you what that dot is.

4. Eggs are like people; no matter what color they are on the outside, brown, white, blue, green, or pink, (yes, eggs come in all those colors) the inside is exactly the same.

5. Taking an egg away from a hen does not make her “sad”. Chickens lay eggs every day, and, unless they are broody they’re not interested in hatching babies. Instead, they hop up in their nest box, pop out an egg, then leave it behind to carry on with their day. Most hens that are kept for egg laying purposes only become broody once or twice a year, and many breeds don’t at all.

Mother Hen and her Chicks

Now taking an egg away from a broody chicken is a different story. Try and take her egg when she’s got it in her head she’s going hatch some little ones, and your liable to lose a finger. So what is one to do? Well, some may call me a bleeding heart, but I’ve never taken an egg away from a broody chicken 😛 I just love watching a mama hen raise her babies!

I hope I have demystified Eggs for you a little. Are there any other questions about chickens or eggs that you have? Don’t be shy, chances are more people than you would think are wondering the same thing! Leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it.

*Disclaimer- All of these points are basic answers, but I won’t bore you with an essay on each one. Most other poultry follow a very similar pattern, although there are exceptions to every rule.



2 thoughts on “The Mysterious Egg

  1. Marie – I love reading about your farm life! It sounds like you’re really enjoying being a mother and a wife to a famer. Keep the articles coming!
    P.S. Twice I have cracked open eggs and they have had 2 yolks in them like your picture.

    • Thanks Julie! I guess I’ve adapted to married/farm life pretty well 🙂 I’m glad you like the blog…I felt kinda silly when I first started it but now I’m realizing people actually enjoy it! And to think my english teacher said my writing skills were lacking. HA!
      Double yolkers are pretty special..I have a picture I should look for of an egg I got that was like a dinosaur egg (Seriously, it was so big there was a streak of blood on it. Poor chicken.) and it had 3 yolks! Thanks for commenting, and please share this blog with anyone who you think might care 🙂

I love hearing from you and read (and try to respond to) every comment. Thank-you for taking the time to write one! "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear." Ephesians. 4:29

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