Abundance and Odd Eggs

On Tuesday every single one of the twelve Gems laid an egg. The Gems are a mixed flock, and none are hybrids, designed to lay daily. Most are supposed to lay about four eggs a week, so I was quite pleased with my full basket! Despite what they are supposed to do, each is an individual and there is variation. I don’t know yet who is a good layer and who isn’t – I’m sure that there are both in this flock. I certainly don’t expect a dozen eggs every day, so, I was surprised to see an almost full basket yesterday. Eleven eggs.

All of the Gems lay brown eggs, “brown” being a rather boring and unimaginative word when you peer into the basket and see the range of colors. They also lay different sizes. However, yesterday one was clearly a whopper.

Not only was it ginormous, but it was all wrinkled, as if straining to hold the insides in.

I was pretty sure what I’d find when I cracked it open, and I was right. It was a double-yolker.

Two yolks in one egg is not unusual with pullets in their first few months of lay. A yolk is released from the ovary once every 25 hours, or, more typically there’s even more time between the yolks being sent on their way. Once in awhile, though, the conveyor belt that is the reproductive tract speeds up or slows down. Two yolks end up getting surrounded by whites and then shell. It’s hard to believe, but it’s rare that laying an egg of this size is a problem for the hen. Young chickens can and do prolapse and get egg bound, but usually, they’ll lay an out-of-the ordinary egg and be no worse for it.

Last night I sauteed up tomato, sweet yellow bell pepper and avocado. I stirred in the egg until it was just set. Topped with salsa. Dinner.

What’s the most unusual egg that your girls have laid?


  1. All of my big girls lay brown eggs, but one day i went out and found a extra large pure white egg.

  2. Our girls lay a huge egg like that once in awhile! There are so fun to get! Would an egg like that ever be able to hatch ( obviously you would need a rooster) would there be enough room for 2 chicks to grow in there?

  3. The very first egg I found was a double yolk! It was the only egg that day and the first to be laid by my little flock of 4. I felt blessed and knew good things were to come……

  4. I love the different patterns on what appears to be a brown egg. I have brown eggs with white spots – almost looks like it was spattered with paint.

    Terry, where did you find that neat stand for the eggs?

  5. for the past month – we have also had an abundance of eggs – and a few odd balls. In addition to three rubbery eggs, we have had a few almost cone-shaped ones, but yesterday we received one that looked like an after-thought – it is very tiny and sort of loopy. I posted a photo on Instagram: http://instagr.am/p/IwpGZ-xtte/. We have had most of our chickens for 3 or more years and this is the oddest month by far on egg production. . . Jennifer @atthebluebarn

  6. I love when they lay an egg the size of a robin egg. Usually it only contains the white.

  7. A few months ago I got an off the charts large blue egg. Surprisingly, it was a single yolker. She didn’t lay for a couple of days after that, but is still my best layer.

  8. In the seven years that I’ve had chickens, twice I’ve gotten an egg with no shell — just the membrane. They are really weird to hold!

  9. Oh Terry… do you really want to know?!

    (the late) Ruby, one of my Marans, once laid a dumb-bell shaped egg!!! Two eggs with shells one a little smaller than the other, joined by a spiraling mebrane/shell. No wonder she squawked. I blamed the toad she’d eaten the day before :-O



  10. I saw the gems standing in line to use the nesting boxes a couple of days ago. It reminded me of the line you sometimes have to stand in to use the ladies room. Quite funny. To the extra large egg, I say ~”Ouch”~.

  11. I still maintain that Duck’s five-yolks-in-a-long-sock thing is unbeatable in the weird stakes.

  12. I have seen all sorts of weird eggs but I have a hen who lays eggs that look like they have warts on top of warts. I am guessing calcium buildup?

    • Yes, calcium. Can be big bumps or look like tiny insect eggs. Nothing to be concerned about, kind of cool, actually!

  13. my ten year old hen laid an egg every couple of months, but they were the size of robin’s eggs. you could have used a thimble as an egg cup. they did not contain a yolk.

    everyone who works with me says hello. i am a nurse practitioner at a clinic for uninsured folks in san francisco. i start every day with a peek at hencam and everyone used to laugh at me for it, but now everyone knows all about your pets and they ask for updates. i even have a “i’d rather be watching hencam” sticker on my office door. anyhow, i guess that concludes my fan letter to you. have a great day.

    • Just having a hen reach ten is an accomplishment! Hello to you and your co-workers. I’m happy that my animals keep you company during the day.

  14. My girls lay in the house really well so I was surprised when I was cleaning out the run to find what looked like a mushroom. It was a very small off-white egg the size of my thumbnail! Very wierd.

  15. This is hard to believe, but once one of my sex-link hens laid a HUGE egg. When I cracked it open, it contained a regular single yolk egg — AND another egg in a shell!

  16. Hello Terry. Got a funny story and a question for you! I just got some new baby chicks at my local Farm store a couple weeks ago. I have one massive chick that is towering over all the others, huge feet, rough places on it’s back. When I got to looking on the internet I think I may have picked up a baby turkey! It matches a picture of one to the tee! Now what? Do you think this little guy can co-exist with my flock of hens? It’s funny but it’s also not….what to do? Thank you Terry!!

    • Oh, that is too funny! I’ve never kept turkeys, so I’d find someone with experience. However, I do know that the main health risk of keeping turkeys and chickens together is that chickens carry a protozoa which doesn’t affect them, but might cause an illness called “blackhead” in the turkey. Of course, at this point, the turkey has been exposed to it. I’m not sure about housing and fencing… I do know people who love their turkeys – these birds have big personalities. Sounds like fun!

  17. One of our hens laid a massive – double the normal size – egg that had a rubbery skin. We opened it up to find a half the normal size egg inside. Very weird!