Are snake eggs edible? (Yes or No?)

In this blog post, we answer the following question: Are snake eggs edible? We explain in detail how snakes lay eggs, how to identify snake eggs and what precautions to take if you find snake eggs.

Are snake eggs edible or venomous? 

Snake eggs are not venomous and yes, they are edible. Although not everyone will enjoy their taste, snake eggs can be eaten as long as they are cooked like poultry eggs. 

Reptile eggs are NOT poisonous. The embryo that will develop from the egg must be in a conducive environment, so the eggs are safe to be consumed. In some Asiatic countries snake eggs, as well as sea turtle eggs and iguana eggs, are considered a delicacy.  

Some reptile eggs are leathery, others are hard. Some snakes are oviparous (egg-laying), others are viviparous (have live young), and still others are ovoviviparous, where the eggs hatch inside the mother’s body and the young are born alive without the placental attachment.

How snakes lay eggs

70% of snakes reproduce and lay eggs, while others give birth to their young directly. This is why we can differentiate snakes based on the ways they conceive their young.

Viviparous

This group of snakes belong to those in which the embryo develops inside the mother through the development of a placenta that serves as nutritional support for the fetuses until the moment of their birth. 

In this group, we can differentiate the boa and the anaconda, two of the best-known snakes for the sizes they can reach, especially the females. For this reason, if you come across a snake egg, you could rule out these two types. 

Oviparous

They are those whose young develop inside the egg. Each egg contains a snake embryo, which will develop to the point where it reaches a size where it will hatch and emerge. The snake buries the eggs under the sand and these remain there for several weeks. The python is one of the best-known snakes that hatch from the eggs, this snake lays the eggs and incubates them for a time.

Ovoviviparous

In this case, the embryo develops inside the egg, but the snake does not expel the eggs until they have not grown enough inside. The female snake expels the eggs just before they hatch. Vipers are the most common type of snake belonging to this group. 

How to identify snake eggs?

Now that we know that not all snakes lay eggs, we can study the characteristics of the eggs to find out if the ones we have found belong to this reptile or not. 

Depending on the type of snake, the eggs can vary in weight, shape and colour. Usually, most snake eggs are yellowish-white. One of the main indicators by which we can identify snake eggs is their texture. 

If the eggs are on your property and you are concerned that they belong to a dangerous snake, you can pick one up and feel its touch. Snake eggs are not like bird eggs, so they tend to have a rather elastic consistency, and touch similar to leather.

Another feature that allows us to differentiate a snake egg from another animal is its shape. The eggs of this reptile are rather oblong, that is, they are longer than wide, even though some species can lay eggs in a root form, similar to ginger. 

Knowing what species of snake the eggs belong to is somewhat more difficult, however, you can find out about the types of snakes found in your region, and discard those that are viviparous, and practically also those that are ovoviviparous. In this way, the number of species will be reduced and you will be able to more accurately determine the snake that can be treated.

On the other hand, to know if the eggs are fertilized and to intuit which is the animal that is inside, we can take one of the eggs and place it against the light, either using the sun, a lamp or a flashlight. In this way, you can see if there is a dark part inside, a sign that there is an animal inside. If the shape is rather elongated, then it is likely a snake.

How many eggs do snakes lay?

The number of eggs a snake can lay depends on the species. However, the total can vary between 6 and almost 100 eggs, although the most common is a number not that high.

Precautions to take if we find snake eggs

If we remember the first point in which we have explained how snakes can have their young, you will remember that the only snakes that lay eggs and these remain for a time outside the mother are oviparous. 

This implies that the mother expels the eggs and deposits them underground, usually in sandy soil. Some types of oviparous snakes hatch their eggs, so in case you do find snake eggs, be careful that the mother is not hanging around. Some of these snakes can be very protective with their eggs and may react aggressively. 

Therefore, the first thing you should do is look around you to make sure that the mother does not roam the area. Some snakes lay their eggs underground and do not hatch them. In that case, the risk that you may run into a snake is lower, but it is also advisable to be careful. Besides, our pets can also track the presence of these reptiles, so it is very useful to know what to do when a snake bites a dog.

In the case of fear that the eggs are snakes, do not break them or throw them away. Get in touch with a veterinary centre or animal association and inform them about the details of the eggs.

Can humans eat snake eggs and snake meat?

In Vietnam, a country of consumers who love dishes based on dogs, cats and reptiles, the snake is a culinary speciality that is served fried and accompanied by lemongrass and hot pepper.

It is also eaten prepared as sausage or marinated in porridge and the blood is drunk as an accompaniment, mixed with rice alcohol since it is attributed to medicinal virtues.

The Vietnamese criticized abroad for their appetite for all kinds of meat and their indifference to animal suffering, explain that their tradition recommends keeping these reptiles alive by opening them so that, while they are emptied of their blood, their hearts continue beating.

“When cutting the snake, its blood must fall into very strong alcohol for the bacteria to die,” says Dinh Tien Dung, a specialist chef for this animal.

The whole process of transforming these animals into dishes or drinks is very painful for them,” criticizes Iona Dungler, head of wildlife at the Hanoi-based NGO Four Paws, who adds, “It is also done for unjustified reasons. “.

We know it sounds cruel, but that is the purpose of this section. As exciting as it may seem to you to eat snake eggs, reptiles or other “delicacies”, please think carefully before doing so.

Conclusions

In this blog post, we answered the following question: Are snake eggs edible? We explained in detail how snakes lay eggs, how to identify snake eggs and what precautions to take if you find snake eggs.

We remind you that snake eggs are not venomous and yes, they are edible. However, before deciding to eat them, you should make sure they are cooked properly. Otherwise, you risk getting ill. 

And please, as exciting as it may seem to you to eat snake eggs, reptile meat or other “delicacies”, please think carefully before doing so.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Are snake eggs edible?

Can you eat snake eggs?

Yes, you can eat snake eggs as long as they are properly cooked. That means that they need to be prepared as chicken eggs. Snake eggs are not venomous. 

Are snake eggs poisonous?

No, snake eggs are not poisonous. The snake embryo needs to develop in a “healthy” environment. Depending on the type of snake, the eggs can vary in weight, shape and colour. Usually, most snake eggs are yellowish-white. 

Are all eggs edible?

Almost all bird eggs are edible, with the exception of two species the Hooded Pitohui and the Ifrita kowaldi who are believed to have poisonous eggs. 

Can humans eat snakes?

Humans can and do eat snakes. However, one should be careful about this practice, because if the snake is not prepared correctly you can get infected with certain diseases (trichinosis, pentastomiasis, gnathostomiasis and sparganosis). 

Where do water snakes lay their eggs?

Water snakes do not lay their eggs, they are ovoviviparous. In this case, the embryo develops inside the egg, but the snake does not expel the eggs until they have not grown enough inside. The female snake expels the eggs just before they hatch. 

Which country eats snakes?

The countries where eating snakes is a delicacy are Vietnam, China, Hong Kong and Thailand.

References

Thebetapet.com – Can you eat snake eggs?

Delish.com – Types of eggs

Sciencing.com – How to identify snake eggs?

Hi, I am Martin, I am a pet lover! I own a Golden retriever and a Long-eared Owl. They keep me company & I often had questions about them which I couldn't find answers for online. I put this hub together for people like me & you.

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