Customer hatches eggs from Trader Joe's

Ken Wolter/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘I ran to my fridge to make sure I didn’t buy fertile eggs’: Customer hatches eggs from Trader Joe’s

‘I work at Trader Joe’s and when people buy these I always ask if they’re doing this.’


Eric Webb


Still wondering whether the chicken or the egg came first? Consider a secret third option: the grocery store.

TikTok creator Rachel Anne ( recently posted a viral video that shows her hatching chicks from eggs purchased at grocery store chain Trader Joe’s. 

The video has almost 6 million views and more than 488,000 likes. 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

But these weren’t just any supermarket eggs. They were fertilized eggs, as seen on the carton in the video.

In the video, Rachel places the eggs in an incubator after taking them home from the store. As time passes, she shines a light on one egg to show movement inside, before cutting to a scene of a chick hatching. The video ends with a scene of two fluffy yellow baby birds.

One commenter wrote, “I ran to my fridge to make sure I didnt buy fertile eggs.”

“Why would you do this to me,” one comment read.

“Welp, I already on the fence about eating eggs. That was it for me,” someone commented.

“I work at Trader Joe’s and when people buy these I always ask if (they’re) doing this,” one viewer chimed in.

We know what you’re thinking, and no, you can’t make a Foghorn Leghorn from most eggs you find in the fridge. Most factory-farmed eggs at the grocery store aren’t fertilized. The hens that lay your average omelet ingredient are kept isolated from roosters, and they lay unfertilized eggs that are then sold.

Rachel made a few more videos, all with thousands of additional views, to answer viewers’ questions about her experience. She prefers to buy eggs from free-range hens, because they’re raised in better conditions and eat better food. Some farmers introduce a rooster into their flocks—thus, the eggs laid by the hens might be fertilized instead and sold as such, she said. (And if you eat fertilized eggs, you won’t taste a difference, she added.)

In an audio message via Instagram, Rachel told the Daily Dot that she wanted to make these videos for educational purposes.

“I would encourage people to do their research on the egg industry and find out where their eggs come from,” she told the Daily Dot.

Food and cooking resource website Kitchen Appliance HQ has a handy FAQ about fertilized chicken eggs. Fertilized eggs sold in grocery stores “may not hatch if they were kept too cold, or were packed more than 2 weeks earlier,” according to the website.

“If you go back 100 years before the dawn of trucking, factory farms, and large chain grocery stores, most of our ancestors ate fertilized eggs,” according to Kitchen Appliance HQ. “After cars replaced wagons and larger stores began to pop up and the demand for eggs to be shipped from one location to another came into play, most farmers got rid of the roosters.”

It’s not just Trader Joe’s, either. A little Googling reveals that you can probably find fertilized eggs in supermarkets like Whole Foods, as well as any number of farms in your area.

And according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “There is no nutritional difference in fertilized eggs and infertile eggs.”

The Daily Dot also reached out to Trader Joe’s via email and did not receive an immediate response.

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