Two Eggs!

It takes about 26 hours for the hen to form one egg. In a perfectly operating reproductive tract, a yolk is released from the ovary (this, by the way, is the full-sized yolk that you see when you crack the egg). It proceeds down the tube, where the whites, the membrane and the shell are laid on, successively, and in that order. At the end of the process, if the egg is to be brown, dye is spritzed onto the shell. The egg is then coated with bloom (sort of like a protective shellac) and then the egg is ready to be laid. This is a complicated process. Much can go wrong. Amazingly, though, it usually goes smoothly. Depending on your hen, she will lay an egg every day or so. What she can’t do is lay two eggs a day, because only one at a time proceeds down that conveyor belt of the reproductive tract.

That is, she can’t lay two eggs a day unless she is Twiggy.



Twiggy is my over-achiever. The other hens lay an egg a day for maybe two or three days, and then take a break. Twiggy lays daily, sometimes six days a week. She recently outdid herself and laid both of these eggs on the same day!

two eggs


Granted, one is small. However, unlike wind eggs•, this one has all of the requisite components – yolk and white – and is perfect, albeit petite.

I’ve told Twiggy that she has my permission to slow down and take a summer vacation. She says that she’d rather not.


*Wind eggs are tiny eggs that don’t have yolks. They are usually laid by pullets whose reproductive tracts haven’t quite gotten into sync yet.


  1. It is a complicated process. My hen is 3 1/2 years old and she hasn’t laid for a while now. She is generally fine, but every so often, she appears unwell (tail down and very slow). Usually she manages to expell what looks like egg yolk and then she will feel fine again (once she has expelled this and I usually give her a dose of epsom salts for good measure). My worse fear is always Egg peritonitis, but her stomach does not seem to fill up – thank goodness. She seems to live with this pattern of slowing down (feeling unswell) and then getting back to normal again. I always worry when this happens though that perhaps this time she may not recover. As we said it is a complicated process and at 3 1/2 she really is an older girl. She still must be producing some eggy ingredients and I really wish this would stop altogether (all my problems were caused by laying with my previous hens). I would like to give them a hysterectomy as they are purely pets (but would this take away what a chicken obviously does naturally?).

    • Louise, as sad as it is to see our hens age and having egg difficulties, that’s the nature of being a laying hen. Chickens are not long-lived. I do not believe in surgeries to prolong their lives, as doing that is more for us than for them. It can cause more suffering. I recently heard of a hen that was put through surgery only to die a week later. By the time we see discomfort in the hens, much is wrong inside. A hysterectomy is the least of it. Love them while they are here, and let them pass when it is time.

  2. Impressive! Not had that happen but my brown commercial hen lays double yokes on a regular basis and they are big – poor thing!

  3. Funny you should write about this now because this very thing happened here a couple of days ago. I am one of those hen keepers that checks for eggs sometimes several times a day if I am working out in the garden, and the girls are making lots of laying noises. My Blue Orpington (June), is not a wonderful layer but she usually produces a small very light brown egg every second day or so. Her production has picked up a little this summer though. The other day I had collected an egg from her around 10 a.m. along with a couple of others from her flock-mates and then in the afternoon found 3 more from my other layers. A good day….. as only 6 of my 7 girls lay regularly. When I shut the hens in that eve. I again checked the nesting boxes just in case Gussy had lay one and low and behold there was another egg but from June. I know it was her egg as it was exactly the same as the other one and my hens all lay very different looking eggs from each other. I was still in denial as I knew that hens only lay once a day. I guess June is loving our very lovely summer weather?!

  4. Leghorns are amazing machines. I have one that is now over three years old and lays 5 or 6 eggs a week. She is the only hen in my flock of 20 or so that lays a completely white egg so I know it is her.

  5. I have 3 Buff Orpington and 3 RIR chickens, all brown egg layers. Last summer, I found one regular-sized, white egg among the 6 brown. Someone laid an extra and ran out of brown! I was so surprised!

    • That can happen! But it’s not that common. Sometimes my cuckoo marans lays an egg that’s almost white with brown spots.

  6. Perfect egg bowl ! I see three more eggs, and a couple of strips of bacon in the grain. Of course, if Mr. Ink Blot Guy (Rorshack??) were to intervene, not sure what he would make of the horse I see, nose, eye and ears just above the real eggs, and the neck flowing to the right covered with a mane?!?
    We won’t even get into the little bearded man up near the knot on the edge. (BG)
    Did I mention perfect egg bowl??

  7. This has happened two or three times with one of our Golden Comets. She will lay a perfect egg in the morning and then a really soft shelled one right before roosting. Something is up with her timing anyway because she is the same girl who will just drop an egg from the roost in the morning or on the ground outside. Those eggs do not have the usual bloom on them. I always feel bad for her when I find one of those!

    • I have a Barred Rock that would do the same thing…nice normal egg in the morning and then a shell-less one when she was on the roost that night. This happened multiple times last year and then she laid only shell-less eggs for awhile. She hasn’t laid an egg of any type since a month or so before her 2nd birthday this March. She still goes in the nest box every day but no egg. She is lucky that she is such a good garden helper and bug controller. LOL.

  8. What a wonderful layer you have in Twiggy. I guess Leghorns are hard to beat in that category. Perhaps her contentment/sense of security contributes to her extraordinary production?

    Yep, spotted the eggs and all the animals, plus the running bunny up by The aforementioned knot. Don’t see the bearded man, though. Bet you never thought this photo would set people off on a childhood past time… kinda like relaxing in the grass on a summer day, looking up into the sky and finding shapes in the clouds.

  9. I am very curious about your egg bowl. It looks exactly like my grandmother’s “dough” bowl.
    She made the most perfect biscuits every morning.

    • I’m sure that yours has a lovely patina. Mine was made locally by a young woman learning how to make bowls on a lathe.