Thursday, June 27, 2013

What's in an Egg?


Juliet asked the most iconic question of all time: “What’s in a name?” Well, the Chicken Lady asked, “What’s in an egg?”
 A lot apparently! One can look at the eggs their hens are producing and determine the overall health of the flock. Personally, we’ve experiences our fair share of weird eggs here on the Shawhan farm, and I’m relieved to know, most of it is completely normal and harmless!

Some eggs have no yolks and are called “fart eggs” in the chicken keeping community. These are usually a first time production by a pullet hen and are completely normal. Just a funny name and not a lot of breakfast!
Blood and meat spots happen sometimes, but rest assured, they are safe to eat if you can stomach it! They are the result from a small defect in “uterine production” where some of the tissue from reproduction is left behind in the shell. (Khuly, 66) The good news is that it is not a sign of disease or an unhealthy bird. The bad news is that it can be hereditary. So if you know which hen(s) is the culprit(s) and you don’t want this in your eggs, don’t plan on breeding them/hatching out a brood.
Some eggs come out with no shells. We call these “membrane eggs” here on the Shawhan farm. For some reason, they just happen from time to time and are no reason for concern. Sometimes eggs with discolored shells appear and are also no cause for alarm.
Egg deformities like ridges and bumps are common and sometimes genetic. Usually nothing to worry about, but could potentially mean a nutritional problem if it is happening to all the eggs in the flock.
There are round eggs, which mean they spent more time passing through the chicken. Pointy eggs or “torpedo eggs” happen when an egg spent less time passing in the hen. These come from older hens (who I guess just want the egg out because they have better things to do with their time). Round eggs come from younger, possibly more patient hens!

In relation to cook-time in a hen: a thick-shelled egg spent longer in the reproductive track than a thin shelled-egg, which spent less time in creation.

Some eggs are wormy AND a cause for alarm!! PLEASE tell me if you ever get wormy eggs from me! That means the girls have worms and will need to be treated. It’s very important that I know this.

 Fingers crossed we don’t end up with worms in our eggs, just all these other goofy odd-balls instead!

                                                                                                           …cluck… cluck… cluck…

Khuly, Patty. “Egg Samples: What do Your Girls’ Eggs Say About Them?” Chickens Magazine Summer 2011: 66+

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