It may be the futile wish of every kid who hasn’t yet learned about fertilization – let’s hatch a chick from the supermarket eggs! And quite frankly, it may be the nightmare of all ovo-vegetarians and other animal-conscious egg eaters out there.
But either way, 45-year-old Alwyn Wils was in for a happy surprise in an experiment to see if supermarket eggs really are unfertilized. The product of his curiosity? A cute little bundle of joy named Albert.
“To get a fertilized egg one obviously needs both a male and female. Since the males don’t produce any eggs and the females lay her unfertilized eggs without the need for a male, eggs are rarely fertilized when they get to the supermarkets,” Wils tells the Telegraph.
“On the Internet it says everywhere that supermarket eggs are not fertilized, but I thought let’s see if that’s really the case.”
So he picked up a dozen quail eggs from a supermarket in Haarlem, Netherlands, and got to incubating. And after a month, lo and behold, his miracle baby arrived.
“Friends and family think Albert is very cool," says Wils, "and they think it’s great way of thinking that not everything is impossible if you give it a try sometimes.”
Now of course this could all be a fun hoax, but Dan Nosowitz at Modern Farmer had the same thought, and explains that the hatching of supermarket eggs is possible. Although supermarket eggs are typically unfertilized, fertile eggs are available. And eggs sold at farmers markets can potentially be fertile, as well, some markets like Trader Joe’s sell fertile eggs for people who believe that they are more nutritious. Nosowitz writes:
Users of the forums on BackyardChickens.com have extensive threads about incubating and hatching fertile Trader Joe’s eggs; the chickens hatch normally. (Many of these chickens are named TJ.) So it’s certainly possible to buy an egg at the store and hatch it into a chicken. It just isn’t all that likely, which is why Wils’s baby quail is so fun.
And fun, indeed. Watch the journey of baby Albert here, prepare to coo.