Monday, July 21, 2008

Working out the kinks

It's entirely possible that I've beaten the egg subject to death, however, at the risk of being tedious, allow me this one final post on the neophytic laying results of my young hens...

In other words, I have had some BIZARRE eggs these last few days and all of them deserve mention.

The rubber eggs continue to perplex yet entertain:

Two more were delivered over the weekend. This one was laid nicely in one of the nest boxes. I reached in for it, expecting something solid, and got this instead:

The one below was dropped in the dirt -literally- as the hens were running back to the second the stair was bare, the next:

Of course, they're fascinating to look at and touch, but nobody here wanted to eat them:

Dissection was mandatory. Despite all outward appearances, they seem to be completely normal eggs on the inside:

Still, nobody wanted to eat them:

The next egg oddity to appear is the egg that dropped ("plop") next to me as I was kneeling down chicken poop-scooping in the coop. There was that moment, upon seeing it, that I thought someone was playing a joke on me.
It is so small.....:

You know your next line, right? ---> "How small is it?!":

It is so small, that next to MONDO-egg from a few days earlier, it doesn't look real:

It is so small, it's about the same size as a Bing cherry:

From left to right: MONDO-egg, 1st egg laid, mini-egg, a quarter:

Can you find the mini egg?:

It is way smaller than an apple:

Have you ever measured eggs by the teaspoon?:

It would make a great gag addition to a game of marbles:


It is so small, it's barely bigger than a blueberry I picked on Saturday morning:

I'm having too much fun with this, aren't I...:

It is so small, it fits perfectly between Bob's sharp teeth (you didn't know about Bob, did you? There's a story behind *this* guy):

I kind of want to make mini-egg a little matchbox bed:

Mini-egg is ridiculously small next to the cute, little, unhappy dog sitting on my kitchen counter:

Ok. Enough of that one.

Final egg oddity...this one. Its shell is the palest I've found yet, scratchy on the outside like sandpaper, with odd lines protruding across the curvature of the shell:

For color comparison, scratchy pale egg is on the far right-hand side, bottom row, next to mini-egg:

Finally, yesterday morning, the bizarreness stopped. For the very first time, every nest box had an egg in it when I walked into the coop (ignore the white decoy eggs). All eggs were "normal":

Farm fresh eggs, with a few oddities thrown in every now and again for entertainment!:


  1. Those eggs are very odd. I suppose that if the chickens are new to laying, it's natural?

  2. Wow, who knew eggs came in so many forms? Fun post. My favorite is the photo with Roxy and the egg. Poor dog, made to pose with the egg. I made Nina pose with my summer squash yesterday. She has to put up with so much! ha ha!

  3. The egg oddities are odd alright. We have yet to see the rubbery version of an egg in our weekly egg share, but every week the eggs are strikingly diff in the box. There may be a huge mondo egg, so large that the box will not close completely, and sitting next to it a wee little lass that has the richest yellow yolk upon cracking. Little Roxy...those puppy eye shes giving you are irresistable.

    And I dont think your hands look dirty at all...okay, well, maybe in that in that one picture.

  4. I love the individuality of eggs, especially brown ones (my fave!)...the teaspoon pic cracked me up (no pun intended, ha!)

    Are the membraney ones due to lack of calcium, or are they just newbie chick attempts? I'm learning so much through your chicken-raising, and looooove all things chicken-related. You can NEVER have too many egg posts here for the likes of me :)

  5. Great post about the different eggs. We have had most of those as well. My grandmother used to say that the hens needed oyster shell to form hard shells so I always have that out there for them and they do eat it up. I love getting the little tiny ones. There usually isn't a yolk in those and my oldest granddaughter loves them because she only likes the whites.

  6. We have a friend who raised 200 chickens and said to us when we were building the coop for our daughter's chicks, "Be sure to tell her to give the chickens oyster shells so they don't lay soft eggs!" So I thought I'd pass that tip on to you. They are sure weird looking.

    And that itty-bitty one cracks me up . . . as it must have you too. You are having way too much fun with that one! But thanks for a good chuckle.

  7. I was going to mention allowing the chickens access to oyster shell (if you're not already doing that) to help make their eggshells harder. They do love it. Has good minerals in it for them, including calcium. Even so, it's normal to get a few blooper eggs now and then. I have a small collection of the tiny ones I've gathered over the years. No yolks in the tiny ones.

    Your photos are great and very amusing. You are having a good time and it shows.

  8. Oh, I forgot to ask...why is Roxy unhappy?

  9. Roxy!!! Your the queen of the egg!! But I want to know what happened to BOB?????

    Danni...may your eggs be uniform and all come out the right end!

    Love love love the marble shot!!

  10. How long did it take you to take all those pictures? LOL

  11. I haven't laughed this hard for a long time! This is a wonderful picture collection, and I want to ask where you got such talent writing humorously? And how did you get all those ideas on how to describe and present those silly eggs?
    Who in the world is Bob? Have I met him? Where are you hiding him, and is he only allowed to come out at certain times?

  12. How very interesting and entertaining! There's never a dull moment on Critter Farm! I've read that when chickens first begin laying they can lay some pretty odd eggs until things start running smoothly. I wonder if I will find any rubber eggs when my girls start laying?

  13. Your gross eggs rule!

    Did you ever put them on layer pellets? That'd probly do it right there. I thought I remembered you saying you weren't gonna do that until 20 weeks or some such foolishness.

    "Ooo... It's so much work at my farm, I only have time to devise, set up, and take like 50 shots of weird eggs."

    Do you even live on a farm? Are these shots all stock photography or something?

  14. We had a few soft eggs when our Batams started laying and I started mixing oxyster shells with their feed and I've yet to get one like that again. ~Kim

  15. We got our first egg this past weekend and it was a softy too. They're all tiny as well. Now's the time to be sure your birds have the best. A good layer feed, and access to oyster shells (or crushed egg shells) and grit. Once all the hens work the kinks out, you'll be getting all jumbos all the time. And btw, nice yolks!! :) You can tell those girls get to range just by looking at those orange babies!! :)

  16. What you showed in your hysterical pics is common. Every year my new girls lay and just sometimes let plop out strange eggs. They get better over time (less fun).

  17. Hi solomon - I've heard from many that there is sort of a "warming up" period for new layers - and I've seen lots of photos from others on their bizarre first eggs - but it's hilarious when you experience it first-hand! :-)

    Hi nw nature nut - you and i have very patient dogs. :-) Poor girls, they put up with a lot from us..."pose here", "sit and stay!", "hold this on your nose"..."now, don't move..." :-)

    dear frugal mom - sheesh, do you remember *everything* i tell you in passing? And it wasn't in any of *those* pictures anyway. lol

    Hi robbyn, I don't think these particular eggs are due to a lack of calcium. I guess they could be, but I think I've got that part covered. I really think the gals are just "working things out" - being new to laying and all. So glad you like the egg post - I love 'em, too! :-)

    Hi egghead - i haven't had the heart to break open mini-egg yet to see if there's a yolk, but i will soon. that's really interesting, too...i didn't know that eggs could come w/o yolks!

    Hi california grammy! Yup, my girls have oyster shells. The very first egg I got on 7/03 was a complete shock as it came way earlier than I expected, but I hurried and crunched up a bunch of egg shells and started feeding those first and then ran off to the store for a 50# bag of oyster shell. So I think I've got it covered there, hopefully. Thanks for the tip, though!!

  18. Hi farmer jen - yup, the girls have their pan of oyster shells out there, so I think this is just a case of new layer-itis. :-)
    Thanks for asking about the Roxster...she was unhappy because 1) she isn't nearly as excited about all these eggs as I am and 2) she wasn't at all happy about being put up on the kitchen counter. She knows she's not supposed to be up there. :-)

    Hi eve - "Bob" is simulataneously horrifying to me and an absolutely beloved member of our family, if those two things can be combined. I'll tell you the story of "Bob" sometime. :-) (Roxy says hi to Daisy Lu)

    Hi jimmycrackedcorn - you'd be surprised, the pictures didn't take that long. And they were taken over a few days. Also, if I get on a picture-taking jag like the one with my mini-egg, it's because I'm inspired and things just flow... :-)

    Hello zitrone - how fun for me to make you laugh. thanks for the compliment, but you *have* so say things like that since I'm your daughter. :-)
    What? You don't recognize "Bob"? I can't believe you've forgotten the preserved cat of K Falls! He's been lost in a sea of boxes for about the last 6 months, but recently released from the confines of his cardboard home and ready to come out and play again.

    Hi won't be long now and you'll be posting your own crazy-egg pictures, I'm sure. I really think every new layer has a few odd ones in the beginning - I'm sure you'll be gifted with a couple! LOL

  19. Dear EVIL urban hayseed - When will FRIENDLY and FUNNY urban hayseed be back? I really miss that guy.
    In answer to your obnoxious questions, 1) they've been on layer pellets since after the first egg (thanks for your concern) 2) The pictures are ALL MINE, baby, but you already knew that, didn't you. And if you put on a pretty smile, maybe I'll let you borrow a few some time to spice up your blog a bit.

  20. Hi country girl! We'll see how long it takes the oyster shell to work, my girls have been chowing down on it for about 10 days now. so you actually mix it right in with their feed, huh? I've got a separate little dish with it.

    Yea farm mom.....congrats on the new egg. But you've been through this *how* many times before? You've been a wonderful source of info, support and knowledge throughout my entire baby chick rearing process! I've got the layer feed and oyster shell covered, they are outside so much every day that, while i do have a dish of grit in the coop, I'm wondering whether it's still really necessary, what with all the free-ranging they're doing...whadaya think?

    Hi sugarcreekstuff - glad you enjoyed the pics - you deserve a good laugh! :-) Do you get new chicks every year?

  21. Poor Roxy, you can tell you had to tell her, "Now Rox, don't touch that egg while I take your picture."
    That is the tiniest egg I've ever seen. Fun photo series!

  22. I laughed and laughed and laughed over the mini-egg.........very amusing!

  23. This is my fourth batch of chicks in as many years. Unless I lose some unexpectedly, I wont be getting more this spring. There is such a thing as too many chickens.

  24. That was so much fun. The mini-egg is very odd. And seeing eggs in every box was beautiful.

  25. This post is so much fun. But I just have to wonder how in the world you find the time to not only set up all those cute photos, but even have the ability to think up such entertaining blog posts.

    You have alot of fun doing it. I can tell :)

    Oh, and don't stress about your chicks not getting enough oyster shell/calcium or grit.
    As you know I posted a 'barn-full' of weird egg photos and stories on my blog. Everyday was an educational and odd adventure in the beginning.

    And you probably remember that we always had oyster shell available to our hens from early on, as well as feeding calcium-enhanced layer feed.
    Oh, and we also fed our girls homemade yogurt and poured milk onto their bread scraps to soften it.

    And we STILL got those wacky eggs! haha

    Like some have said, as well as what you know already, your girls are just going through their laying adjustment period.
    You can probably expect to get a few weird eggs throughout the first year and sometimes after they go through molt and then start back up laying again.

    Our hens are 9 months old now(time has flown!) and just the other day, one of the girls laid a rubbery egg on the chicken house ramp.

    The girls seem to not care where they lay those weird slippery rubbery eggs. Maybe they just slip out because they are so soft and the hens just don't even feel them.

    Oh. And my family refuses to eat them, too.
    But our barn cats slurp them right up. :)

    From the expression on Roxie's face, I get the feeling that she would turn her nose up at a rubbery egg, though.

  26. Oh lordy! what a great read! Where do you come up with your egg Comparison ideas?

  27. Roxy looks very worried. I believe her concern is about her mistress. I think she might have valid reason to feel this way, but then I have never made a bed for an egg. I'm glad goats have kids instead of eggs.

  28. I stumbles upon your blog and enjoyed your egg post. I too have chickens and i always love the tiny little eggs the newbie's lay. I blow them out and keep them. I hope to someday have a little basket full to use for decorative purposes. Your donkeys are quite the show off huh? You have a neat farm and I like the effort you put forth to make your post enteraining.I have you linked up with my farm blog so my other farm friends can come over and visit with ya also.

  29. We had a couple of those tiny eggs this summer too. The soft eggs are always interesting. I remember the first one of those we got. It looked normal but...

    I LOVE the photo of the little egg with the the marbles (from the side)!


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