Farm Farm

Strange Eggs

The weathervane on the chicken coop on a recent blue sky day.

Even though I have close to 60 chickens, mid-winter is a slow time for laying. My egg sales have been reduced to a few local friends and ardent egg fans. I enjoy the slowdown that wintertime brings to the farm. I still have some molting ladies, and the rooster is crowing a little too loudly lately, but come spring I’ll have some beautiful re-feathered girls eager to provide me with more eggs than I’ll know what to do with.

Sometimes you get a strange egg though. I find often that when a chicken is laying an egg for the first time it lays what we have come to call a “rubber egg”. This is an egg that has no hard shell, but just a rubbery outer layer that can be easily torn open with your fingers. This can also be a product of chickens not getting enough calcium and you’d need to increase her oyster shell intake, but this is rarely the case with free-ranging chickens. I have photos of some, but of course I can’t find them at the moment in my archives.

For the last few weeks though I’ve been getting some really tiny eggs. I don’t know who’s laying them, but I’m dying to figure it out. They are probably the smallest eggs I’ve ever had before, and that’s over 10 years and lots of bantam chickens. The really strange thing is that I don’t have a single bantam right now (a bantam is a miniature chicken breed).

Now compare this to one of my normal eggs, which is about the size of a grocery store’s large egg. The tiny egg is just a hair over 1-1/4″, and the normal egg is about 2-1/2″.

But below are the weirdest eggs by far I’ve ever had. Every once in a while I’ll get an egg with a “wrinkle” in it. I think when eggs are coming down the canal, there is still some elasticity in them to allow for that journey through the hen. Sometimes I’ll get an egg that has a wrinkle in it, like it had a particularly tight journey and just couldn’t completely straighten out before it hardened up, but these eggs below were just really odd. They were completely wrinkled. Again, I never figured out who was laying them, and all I got was these two and nothing more after that. I keep them in the fridge in a special box. One day I’ll crack them open and see if they’re normal inside.

And just to give you a bit of the color range in eggs, below is one of my white eggs, a blue egg and a brown egg. I do have some dark brown layers, but didn’t have any available when I was taking these pictures. They are a beautiful dark dark brown.

I snapped this photo through the window from my desk a week or so ago. Grace, Kiki & Princess Kate were all enjoying a nap in the winter sun, but I loved how Grace had stretched out on Kiki.

Also taken a few weeks ago, Kiki was hindering my progress in cleaning the goat stalls out by using the wheelbarrow as entertainment. Grace also hopped in a moment later.


  1. The wrinkled eggs are really quite lovely!

  2. Bryant Hinnant says:

    Eggs are ‘elastic’ while still inside the chicken, in order to aid in the laying process, and harden upon exposure to air. Otherwise the chicken could rupture its egg canal. The process itself creates the egg shape. Dehydration can also affect the egg shell. Think of these chickens as being constipated during the laying process.

    If you examine an egg immediately upon being laid it can be soft to the touch (as well as wet). When I was growing up and bored, we would take freshly laid eggs and manipulate them into a round shape or elongate them. Doesn’t affect what’s inside but in today’s world people probably think there is something wrong with the eggs.

  3. Wow! That makes me want to sit in the chicken house and wait for a fresh egg to be laid so I could manipulate one into a cool shape! How cool!

  4. Although I think I will wait until spring when it’s warmer…

  5. If you were to crack open the little egg, you will probably find that it has no yolk. Sometimes when a hen begins laying – either for the first time or after an egg laying break, such as a molt, they will lay a few of these little eggs.

    It is sort of like a “test run” egg. They will lay normal eggs within a day or two.

    • Well isn’t that interesting. I’ve had a lot of molting ladies lately, some out of it now and some still in the process, so that must be it. I’ll have to crack one open and let you know if there was a yolk or not. Thanks! Ever seen one as wrinkly as those two of mine were?

      • Yes. The wrinkly ones are for the same reason. A hen is beginning to lay again and hasn’t gotten all the bugs out! Sometimes you will see a pullet who is laying for the first time lay both these types of eggs for a week or so also.

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