A Bumpy Egg

Each hen lays an egg unique to herself. Shape and color vary not only by breed but also by individual. Consumers of supermarket eggs don’t know this because only uniform eggs are put into cartons. But even those of us who expect to see variation in the eggs from our backyard flocks, once in awhile see a totally odd egg. This was one.



It was a tad smaller than usual. It had bumps.

egg with bumpsI

No matter. I cracked it into the frying pan for breakfast. It didn’t have a yolk (which explains the smaller size.) I cracked in another egg which did have a yolk. Breakfast was delicious.

Those lumps are made of the same material as the rest of the eggshell, it just wasn’t put down smoothly. We’re at the end of the laying season. The hens are beginning to molt. Their systems are tired. I’ve noticed that the brown eggs are paler in color; the hens are running out of dye. Such eggs, and those with bumpy shells, and even eggs without yolks. are still fine for consumption. I appreciate them because I know that in another two months I won’t have a full egg basket, and I’ll be eating oatmeal for breakfast. Meanwhile, my hens will be resting and rejuvenating in preparation for another season of laying.

What unusual eggs have you been collecting lately?




  1. I get these little bumpy eggs daily! I haven’t found out who the culprit is though. I actually love when my eggs are perfectly imperfect. :)

  2. Oh yeah, I’ve had some wonky eggs in the last year… Some are leather eggs with no shell. Some look like they are flat-heads, with one side squashed in, and it has little wrinkles at the flat end; but they are whole delicious eggs! Then I’ve had the bumpy eggs with warts. Looks like it got hit with a spitball of calcium! SPLAT* – Then for-whatever reason at least one (dumb) hen is laying an egg in the night, and I’m grabbing them from the rooting area. Chickens? Yeah, you can write a whole lot about chickens… Oh wait! You do! Thanks Terry!!

  3. Off topic, but I’ve noticed that the Gems go to roost later than others in the other coop. The others will be on the roost ready to settle in and the Gems will still be outside or running around the coop. Have you ever noticed that? Just curious. Thanks!!

    • Good observation. There are a number of factors. The first is the light inside of the coop – the Big Barn has more natural light coming in later. Also, some breeds of chickens roost later than others!

  4. My Easter Egger, Henny Penny, lays bumpy eggs fairly regularly. I figure that her calcium spray gun gets clogged and, like a paint gun, goes splat splat splat. My other two girls haven’t laid any eggs for 3 months but, when they were laying, sometimes the eggs would be wrinkly.

  5. We have been getting the really small ones with no yolks. I think that they are so cute!

  6. Off topic but I was wondering if you make coddled scrambled eggs in a double boiler? I’ve never seen a recipe for them done in butter in a double boiler. They have always been the first type of eggs offered to my children. We love them with sour cream and pumpernickel bread, sometimes with goat cheese.

    • I haven’t done them in a double boiler. I’m sure they come out very soft. I have similar recipes, called shirred eggs, in my cookbook. Those are done in the oven.

  7. I have one (probably just one) hen that almost regularly lays a LARGE egg. Like, bigger than Jumbo, size-of-a-duck-egg kind of egg. They won’t fit in a carton for large eggs, and they tend to be double-yolk eggs. These things can’t be easy on her, even though she’s just past 6 months old and probably in her prime. Not a bad thing for my breakfast table, but is there anything I should worry myself over for the hen’s health?

    • Pullets often lay double-yolkers, so it might be more than one hen in your flock. My bet is that in a few months you won’t find them anymore.

  8. my 3 year olds produced a whole series of bumpy ones before beginning to molt. Now only one is laying regularly and feathers are everywhere. the few I am getting are back to normal.

  9. I had the strangest thing in the nest this morning. It looked like large blobs of scrambled yolk but quite solid, no sign of shell. Should I give my hen a dose of Epsom salts or olive oil. I notice her stomach is quite firm.

    • That is often called “lash” and is indicative of a problem that can be quite serious. Eggs that don’t form properly, or get broken in the tract, can become infected and solidify. It’s good when it comes out – as it can block her up. Do a HenCam blog search for “lash” and you’ll find out more. An epsom salt soak can help as it will enable her to expel any additional lash that might remain inside.

  10. I occasionally get the bumpy egg, and sometimes an elongated one.. and sometimes a double yolk. Have not gotten a no-yolk egg yet. Production has slowed some as the temps begin to drop.

  11. One of my girls, Violeta, usually lay eggs with bumps. Another one, Marcela, lay eggs with green spots. In 20 years, I´ve never seen a no-yolk egg, but double-eggs appears every now and then.

  12. I’ve heard/read that the lumps are caused by excess minerals/calcium in their diet, not that it’s a bad thing. By the way, is there no sound on any of the cams?

  13. Thelma lays those all the time since she started laying. Even if I did not know the gigantic egg was hers, I could tell it by the bumps. She is 5.5 years old and has laid this bumpy egg since she started laying. At first, I worried, the I figured it was her normal.

  14. My husband built me a beautiful chicken coop with 6 nesting boxes and all the my chickens that r laying right now go into the same nest to lay their eggs. And one of them go out in the run in the dirt and lays her eggs. Why do u think this happens. And the nest they use is only about ten inches wide by sixteen inches deep the rest of the nests are probably fourteen by sixteen. Any ideas what I can or should do. Or is this a problem. I have 13 chickens that have just started laying in August they were born in March.thanks I am new at this. My first time getting chicks. Was so surprised to see the cute little eggs they layed at first they r gradually getting normal sized.. I love having chickens. Nancy

    • This is normal chicken behavior! It’s a problem when they smash the eggs in a pileup. You could try removing their favorite nest, as it is different than the others. Hens prefer cozy and slightly dark places to lay. It might be that one nest is nicer from a chicken’s perspective. Without it there, the pullets will spread out more.

  15. Sitting here drinking my coffee and watching the “girls” (my morning ritual) Made me wonder if you were going to raise any baby chicks next spring? Would be so fun to watch.

  16. My almost 4 year old Jersey lays eggs like that, she is still laying 3 to 4 eggs a week, However the bumps are so big that they come off very easily leaving a holes in the egg so they dont get eaten…

  17. My 14-month old R.I. lays elongated brown eggs with small very dark spots at one end. That’s how I know it’s hers. None of my girls (5) are molting yet, maybe because it’s still fairly warm here in the Pac NW.

    • Not all hens molt at the same time – your best layers will lay later in the season – so, it’s not the weather, it’s other things that trigger the molt. Appreciate those autumn eggs :)

  18. I’ve been getting one teeny tiny egg a week for the last three weeks or so — about qual size, with no yolk. Also, someone occasionally lays an egg that has a sort of “flat spot” on one side. Both deviations are from my Orpingtons –that usually lay fine big brown eggs.

    • Those are sometimes called “wind eggs” (do a HenBlog search and you’ll find more.) However, this shouldn’t happen frequently. Your hen has a laying glitch. She could be dropping the yolks into her body cavity. There’s nothing to be done about it. Hopefully it won’t affect her.