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How Long Does It Take for an Egg to Hatch?

Three different eggs from various species

Precisely how long an egg takes to hatch depends on a lot of factors including species, breed, strain, conditions under which the egg was stored prior to incubation, and conditions during incubation. But whether you plan to hatch eggs in an incubator or under a hen you need a more definitive answer the question: How […]

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Why Chicks Peep Before Hatching

Hatching Chick

Chicks, ducklings, and babies of other barnyard birds are precocial, meaning they are able to feed themselves almost from the moment of hatch. Precociality is the reason why chicks peep before hatching. The word precocial comes from the Latin word praecox, meaning early to mature. A fancier word for precocial is nidifugous — from the […]

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Using Two Incubators to Optimize Egg Hatching

Baby Chicks Hatching

Whether or not using more than one incubator makes sense depends on how much hatching you plan to do and how many different chicken breeds or poultry species you wish to hatch. Most incubators for home use are designed for batch hatching. Sometimes, though, you might not want to wait until the eggs hatch before […]

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Can Eggs Hatch Without a Rooster?

Pullet Egg

Most chicken keepers know that a hen will lay eggs whether or not a rooster is present. But a rooster is needed in order to get fertile eggs that will hatch. Less well known is that eggs can hatch without a rooster. Virgin Birth Virgin birth, or parthenogenesis, is the process whereby an unfertilized egg […]

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15 Functional Properties of Eggs in Recipes

Eggs as Ingredients

Perhaps the greatest tribute to eggs is the vast number of ways they are incorporated into recipes around the world. Many recipes call for eggs as a functional ingredient, used to perform such services as binding other ingredients together, clarifying liquids, or causing baked goods to rise. Here are 15 functional properties of eggs in […]

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Ducks for Eggs: How to Keep Your Ducks Laying Well

Ducks Laying Eggs

How many eggs your ducks lay, and for how many years, depends on several factors. Most of these factors are easily within your control as the ducks’ keeper. Here are six considerations that influence how to keep your ducks laying well. Breed and Strain Some duck breeds, or strains within a breed, lay better than […]

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Why Are Some Egg Yolks More Yellow Than Others?

How Egg Yolk Gets its Coloring

Egg yolks get their golden yellow color from the same plant pigments that result in the skin color of yellow-skin breeds. These pigments are also responsible for beak and bill color in chickens and ducks, and for their brightly colored feathers. The pigments are of two main types— carotene and xanthophyll. Carotene is orange to […]

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No Guarantees When Ordering Hatching Eggs by Mail

Eggs that are sold specifically for hatching are called, fittingly enough, hatching eggs. They cost more than eating eggs but come with no guarantee they will hatch. Too many variables are not under the seller’s control. Even eggs laid by your own hens, or otherwise sourced locally, are not guaranteed to hatch. But when hatching […]

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How the Eggs of Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, and Geese Compare

When we refer to eggs, we’re usually thinking of chicken eggs. But other types of poultry lay eggs that are just as tasty.   Every egg contains a yolk surrounded by albumen, encased in membranes, and protected by a thick shell. Differences occur in how these parts are put together. Let’s see how the eggs […]

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