Last week one of my chickens laid a tiny egg, about the size of a large marble. Although young hens start out laying smaller eggs (that eventually get larger as time goes by), all my hens are over a year old and have been laying normal sized eggs for months.
I decided to chalk up this tiny offering to a bad egg day. The next day, however, there was another. And the day after that, another. So far, there have been five of these tiny little eggs. So, that’s when I decided to do some research.
The results? I stumbled across something called a ‘fart egg’. True story. Also known as a dwarf or wind egg, these eggs typically have no yolk. They’re caused by a piece of reproductive tissue breaking away, which in turn stimulates the egg production glands. These glands treat the mass as a yolk and begin forming an egg around it.
Once upon a time, people blamed roosters for these eggs because they contained no yolk and therefore no reproduction parts. Because of this, they got the name ‘cock eggs’.
It was a relief to know that there wasn’t something terribly wrong with one of my chickens. She’s just been stuck in a fart egg rut. I have no idea how long this might go on. They’re cute though. (And I have a friend who wants to make some tiny blown egg creations with them, so they won’t be wasted.)
Also, here’s the monthly egg update for April: My hens laid 138 eggs for the month. The numbers are down because I still had a hen taking care of her chicks, plus, I also lost a hen to sickness (I’m down to 7 producing hens and 7 chicks), which was a very sad day for me.
The cost of those 138 eggs was .48 cents each, raising the year-to-date total up to .40 cents each.
On a positive note, for each dozen eggs I sell, I set aside .50 cents. I’ve been collecting that egg money to buy some chicks for a family in need (through Heifer International). This month, I finally had enough to make my first chick purchase of 2011! $20 buys 10-50 chickens for an impoverished family, which in turn, and gives them both food and income. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that my chickens bought chickens for a family in need. This makes me very happy.
Besides, who wouldn’t improve their life by having a few chickens in their yard? My chickens are one of the best investments I’ve made. Even though their eggs are costing me a fortune, the benefits I’ve gained are priceless.
Here’s to paying it forward!