Trader Joe's Fertile Chicken Eggs Are Actually Hatchable

Someone on the internet bought a dozen fertile eggs from Trader Joe's, incubated them, and named the chickens that hatched Jo, Josie, Jojo, and T.J. Yes, it is true, and yes, it is possible, and TikTok user is not the only one who has made this happen. There are a number of videos on YouTube of people doing the same thing.

The cartons of eggs labeled "fertile" at Trader Joe's actually look pretty similar to any other pack of eggs. The packaging does specify that it contains fertile eggs, but you might miss that if you're just grabbing your weekly dozen in a rush. But don't worry; just because you buy fertilized eggs does not mean a baby chick will pop out of the eggs in your refrigerator

Not to delve too deeply into the birds and the bees, but if an egg is fertilized, it simply means that the hen who laid the egg spent some time with a rooster, and the birds did what birds do. Under the right conditions, a chick could hatch from a fertilized egg. However, the cold temperatures of refrigeration typically prevent the imperceptibly small embryo from starting to grow. While it is possible in some unique cases to hatch a chick when grocery store eggs are properly incubated, it is still fairly unlikely.

Why does Trader Joe's have fertilized eggs on its shelves?

Sometimes, fertilized eggs end up in the grocery store on accident. Female hens will produce eggs with or without a rooster in the mix, so chickens in the egg industry are typically separated by sex shortly after birth. Occasionally, a rooster will manage to find its way to the hens anyway, leading to some of them laying fertilized eggs.

I've always wanted to do this and finally did it!! Four babies so far, four eggs still in the incubator! Meet Jo, Josie, TJ, and JoJo 😂🤪#traderjoes #traderjoeshaul #traderjoesmusthaves #traderjoesfinds #chicks #chickies #hatch #babies #sofluffy

♬ Viva La Vida – Coldplay

Since Trader Joe's knowingly sells fertilized eggs, this more than likely indicates that its eggs come from free-range chickens. The instinct of a rooster is to protect the flock, so sometimes a rooster will roam with the hens outside, effectively acting like a little chicken security guard. Chickens that are raised freely and have access to the outdoors are generally happier and healthier. Thus, they produce tastier, more vibrant, and better-for-you eggs. These are all compelling reasons to snag the free-range options.

What is the difference between fertilized and unfertilized eggs?

Aside from their difference in hatching potential, fertilized and unfertilized eggs are nearly indistinguishable. Contrary to popular belief, blood spots on eggs are unrelated to fertilization. The way to distinguish between the two is by looking at a tiny white spot on the yolk called the germinal disc. When unfertilized, the spot is faint, somewhat oblong, and solid white. When fertilized, the spot is rounder with a clear center.

Some folks claim that fertilized eggs are more nutritionally dense, but that is simply not the case. While free-range eggs may be more vitamin-rich, the fact that some may be fertilized has no bearing on their nutritional or health benefits. Regardless of the carton of eggs you grab, you're still getting a healthy serving of essential vitamins, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. In perhaps the most important area — taste — there's also no discernible difference between fertilized and unfertilized eggs. Whether you're curious, totally grossed out, or about to attempt to start your own flock, you have eggy options.