In a conversation a while back, Bahubali mentioned that chicken eggs are two kinds, fertile and infertile. Most of the eggs that are consumed are infertile. I didn't know how that would be possible, but I have learnt to listen. However, this was a very interesting topic. And since it was a topic that dealt with animals and knowing more about them, I decided I would get to the root of the matter (most of you will know I'm a great fan of the cat family -- and that I harbour dreams of having a pet tiger some day).
So today I sat down reading up on some websites that had information about eggs. While I got a lot of information in multiple sites, I found a site that has very good information about eggs and maintaining your own pet chickens. This site not only talks about fertile and infertile eggs, it also tells you how much space would you need and how many chicken to have a daily supply of eggs. Very nice indeed.
So what did I find out? I found out that once hens reach maturity, they start laying eggs. Irrespective of wheter there's a cockerel in among the brood of hens. These eggs are infertile. Meaning they will not hatch and no chicken will come out of it. Fertile eggs are those in which a cockerel has had a part to play. After a cockerel has played its part, the eggs the hens lay will be fertile for about a week.
Also, there's no difference in the nutritional value between fertile and infertile eggs.
I'm a vegetarian myself (who eats eggs once in a while). This indeed is very good news for me -- I have the satisfaction of knowing that I still haven't killed anything to fill my stomach. There's always an ongoing debate about what's considered vegetarian and what's not -- I don't want to get into that again. I've had many of those. However, I'm just happy for what I've just now discovered.