Little chicken


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Be careful which eggs you buy from the grocery store, or you may end up with your very own backyard chicken flock.

We weren't the only ones in shock when we saw this viral video from TikToker, who showed how she hatched baby chicks from a carton of eggs she bought from Trader Joe’s. After she took the eggs home from the store, she put them in an incubator. Fast forward to ... a bunch of baby chicks hatching. So far the video has over 6 million views, probably from people like us who literally never thought about this when buying their grocery store 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

"Note to self: don't ever buy eggs from Trader Joe's," writes TikTok user @carolinatown75.

So how did this happen? The eggs bought in the video are fertilized eggs, and who knew your average grocery store sells those along with the unfertilized eggs you usually buy for your breakfast?

Confused by the difference? Most grocery store eggs are laid by hens who have been kept away from roosters. The eggs they lay will be unfertilized. The carton of eggs in this video is specifically marked as fertilized eggs, which means a rooster was allowed amongst the flock of hens.

We were also unaware that fertilized eggs are even sold at some grocery stores, including Whole Foods, but if you look at the package, it will be labeled as such. 

But don't worry: Just because an egg is fertilized doesn’t mean it will definitely hatch. Conditions such as being kept cold too long or packed multiple weeks earlier are unlikely to lead to chicks, according to Kitchen Appliance HQ.  You need to keep the egg warm in order for it to actually turn into a chicken.

So if you're buying a carton of grocery store eggs and it doesn't say “fertile” or “fertilized” on the packaging, you likely needn’t worry that you’re going to wake up suddenly with a new pet in the fridge. Even “free range” isn't significant; just because a hen wasn’t caged, doesn’t mean that it had any contact with a rooster.

Still feeling a bit freaked? Here’s how you can tell if an egg has been fertilized, according to Robust Kitchen. Shine a light on the egg in a dark room — if you see veins surrounding a dark spot in the middle of the egg, you may be seeing the beginnings of a chick. If you end up cracking open a fertilized egg, it will have a circle or bullseye appearance around a white dot in the yolk. 

And yes, in case you're wondering: You can still eat a fertilized egg. Now you just have to decide how you're going to cook the eggs.

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