Is It Possible To Hatch Supermarket Eggs?

Have you ever looked at your supermarket eggs and wondered if it was possible to hatch one and raise a little chick?

Unfortunately for everyone with big poultry farming dreams, this scenario is highly unlikely. According to Science Focus, most commercial farms are required to have only female flocks, as male chickens are not necessary for hens to produce eggs. The birds are separated by gender when they are about one day old and are never put back together: the females are used for eggs, and the males are (sadly) sent to slaughter. Because of this, logically, the eggs aren't fertilized and therefore can never develop into an embryo.

However, there are some situations that can result in an egg becoming fertilized: In the case of free-range chickens or other bird species such as ducks or quail, the separation according to gender is not so fast or strict. Occasionally, a male bird will end up where the females are and nature will take its course. This is why you may have heard of fertilized eggs found in supermarkets in the news.

These people were successful in hatching supermarket eggs

In 2020, a British woman named Charli Lello decided to hatch three eggs she had bought at a Waitrose supermarket location. As she told CNN, she got the idea from a video she saw on Facebook where a person was attempting to hatch quail eggs. Although she didn't get the exact same ones, she decided to try duck eggs as she thought those might also work. As the video Charli had originally seen showed that the man had failed to hatch the quail eggs, she didn't hold out much hope. A few days later, however, she was surprised to discover that it had worked: three ducklings hatched from the eggs without complications and were later named Beep, Peep, and Meep.

According to The Daily Mail, this is not the first time such a thing has happened with eggs bought from the U.K. grocery chain. In 2014, a teenager named William Atkins bought half a dozen free-range eggs and an incubator and managed to hatch a baby duckling he later named Jeremy.

You'll notice both of these reported cases came from duck eggs specifically. As Science Focus explains, while hatching a supermarket egg is incredibly unlikely, it is possible provided you purchase free-range eggs from the right bird; but if you're concerned about coming face-to-face with a chicken embryo when preparing your standard morning scramble, you can rest easy knowing the odds are in your favor.