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If You Buy Store Eggs and Sit on Them, Will They Hatch?

Rising early on a bright, autumn Saturday, the sounds of morning echo soothingly in your ears: birds chirping, leaves rustling in the wind, construction crews hammering away... okay maybe not that soothing. As you shuck off the covers and rise from your bed, vestigial feelings of warmth briefly linger before melting away. The cold brings you to full alertness, and your mind instantly leaps to tantalizing thoughts of breakfast. Bacon, eggs, yum.

But minutes later, as you cradle an egg between your thumb, pointer, and ring fingers, ready to crack it on the edge of a mixing bowl, an inane notion takes hold: "I want to be a mother... of a flock of chickens."

With extreme care, you slowly set the egg back in its carton, then abruptly about-face and storm to your computer to perform some in-depth research. Excitedly glossing through Wikipedia, you learn that hens incubate a clutch of eggs for 21 days. You've been saving work vacation days precisely for a spur-of-the-moment, irrational decision like this, so the choice is an easy one.

shutterstock_113320810.jpgYou call in and hurriedly explain the situation to your boss. Your focused, one-minded mental state deafens his response, but you judge the loud, muffled tones emanating from the speaker to signify total uproarious, support. So, for the next 21 days you squat delicately over an egg carton, taking breaks only to go to the bathroom and eat potato chips. You sleep for a mere four hours a day, leaving the eggs wrapped in a thick, woolen blanket when you do. The immense discomfort of the ordeal is dulled by the desire to be totally dedicated to your brood.

After 21 days, nothing happens. But you figure that your chicks are just late hatchers.

After 25 days, still nothing. You start to worry a little.

After 30 days, you realize. This isn't going to work. Then you get a call from your work. You're fired.

What the heck went wrong? Did you not keep the eggs warm enough? Are you a failed would-be mother of chickens?

You saunter back over to your computer, still stiff from thirty days of squatting, and hop back on the Internet. Unhampered by the former all-consuming vision of little, adorable chicks chirping your name, you soon learn the truth.

Hens lay eggs - as many as 300 each year - regardless of whether they've been fertilized or not. Traditional store-bought eggs are all infertile, as the egg-laying hens aren't allowed to hang around with roosters. In other words, you can't simply sit on a carton of eggs and expect them to hatch.

Your job lost, your dreams of chicken motherhood in shambles, you do the only thing that makes sense. You make a dozen-egg omelet.

(Image: Cute Chicken via Shutterstock)