Siouxsie’s Big Egg

Supermarket eggs are all uniform in size and shape because they’ve been laid by hens that have been carefully bred to lay eggs that look identical. Not only are their genetics narrowly defined, but production chickens are all the same age, and eat a uniform ration. Despite that, since chickens are animals, not machines, there are variations. You never see those odd eggs in supermarket cartons because they are sorted out and used in “processed egg products.”

Certainly, the factory egg facilities don’t have chickens that looks like this:


Siouxsie is a Polish hen, turning four years old this spring. She’s a breed that sporadically lays medium-sized white eggs. After a break for the molt and for winter, she’s begun laying again. Siouxsie is rather dramatic about it. She huffs up, tail down, and looks miserable for hours. Sometimes she lays in the nesting box. Sometimes she gets into a trance and lays on the ground. The other day she laid an egg without the coating of the bloom. Yesterday she laid a huge egg, pointy at both ends, which is the egg on the left in this photo. The egg on the right is a more typical size and shape for a Polish hen.


It was a double-yolker.



Creating an egg from the start in the ovary, until it’s release out of the vent, takes more than 25 hours. A lot happens as the egg moves down the hen’s reproductive tract; for some hens the process goes smoothly day after day, for others, like Siouxsie, there’s a glitch here, an imperfection there. In this case, her ovary released two yolks at the same time. I ate this egg for breakfast. It was delicious.





  1. In a trance? (LOL!) A couple of times I have collected eggs that were a bit chalky in texture, not the smoothness and shine. So, I guess these eggs lack the bloom?

    I didn’t know an older hen could lay a double yolker. The farm boy who sold me my first hens told me they’d lay double yolkers for a couple of months, then go to single yolk. Well, not. I only got one double yolker from the five hens. Not complaining, but the mis information that goes around (and this is a farm boy who really is “into” chickens) seems to be part of the norm.

  2. My Barred Rock Hen(Julie) is a new layer as of last month. She started out laying I thought pretty large eggs. Then a couple of weeks ago she was laying soft shell eggs every day for aprox. 5 days. On the last day of this she lay a soft shell egg attached by a membrane to another soft shell egg. They were both large eggs. She was acting fine so I wasn`t too concerned. The next week she started laying the most gigantic normal shelled eggs I have ever seen! They barely fit in the egg carton. On the other hand my Orpington (June), who is a month or so older, is still not laying as yet. I am expecting GREAT things from her….ha ha.

  3. What a girl Siouxsie! I have heard that Polish hens tend to be Drama Queens!

  4. My Dotty (dominique) only just started laying a few weeks ago at (nine months!). She laid four days in a row, took two days off, then laid a double size egg just like the one in your photo (pointy), it turned out to be my first one with a double yolk! It was the size of a duck egg, ouch!

  5. Terry, Thank you for all your chicken advise! Wow I cant believe your hen is still laying eggs at her age! She is fancy looking! I remember Grandma use to get a double yoke sometimes! Added bonus! Im going to town this weekend and pickin up a few chicks from Tractor supply then I will order a few dominique chicks by mail! Still cant wait! You were right about wanting more chickens after getting a few!

  6. Hi Terry,
    Thank you for sharing about Siouxsie. She is my favorite hen to watch. Love her feathers on her head. Reminding me of Phyllis Diller hair style. :-)
    Thank you for letting us know about Buffy too. We were wondering why she wasn’t roosting & now we know. Thanks again for sharing. :-)

  7. She is Such a pretty hen! got quite a few double Yolkers when my first batch of hens started laying in June. It was always a great surprise to crack them open and find a double. The second batch of girls that I got in mid June didn’t start laying until early Jan, so no doubles there. You ave great advice in your faqs section! Thanks for sharing.

  8. What s the square meal piece attached to the roost that you had greens in? Is the same thing you put suet cakes in?

  9. Terry
    The other great thing about eggs from our hens is evidenced in the photo, how the whites stand firm and don’t run all over the pan and that deep orange color.
    I made the mistake months back on a business trip in ordering eggs over easy in a restaurant. I couldn’t eat them the yolks where so a punny yellow.

  10. Amazing! She must feel spring around the corner. Such a nice bit of optimism for a wintry day.

  11. Yeah Siouxsie!

    I have an Easter Egger that does the normal laying box thing, then at the end she runs out of the nesting box and around the coop and drops her egg on the floor. Has done this for 2 years. Love the time spent in the coop!

  12. My girls usually lay nicely in their box but the other day I brought them a treat mid morning because it was so cold and wet. Lucy, a barred rock the same age as the gems, got all excited about the treat and came out of the nest box before she finished what she was doing. She made some funny leg stretches, and dropped a perfect egg point down in the mud where it remained upright.Then she shook herself and went for the treat!

  13. I love the Polish hens! I am sorry if I am the only one who doesn’t know about this, but is that a CD hanging in the doorway of your hen house? I am curious about what it is for?

    • Terry wrote a while back that it is to dissuade birds from flying into the henhouse. :)

  14. Thanks Carol! I have 2 guineas and was told they like to look at themselves in a mirror! This would be a safe way to do that also! I may hang one in a corner, and see what they do! Ha!

  15. While listening to the radio this morning (24/7 news radio, no less), they reported that a local county had relaxed the rules about owning backyard hens on less than one acre of land. One newsperson asked, “Where do you get chickens”? The other replied, “At a farm, I guess.” Sigh……….

  16. Look who is in the laying box! There is a big puddle of water in front of the little barn right under the board walk. Your snow is melting fast.

  17. I really enjoyed watching your old hens go at that squash this morning! It reminded me of a plum that was to bruised to eat, so my birds loved it! Thank you for sharing your girls!