We love our hens, and they are often amusing us or fascinating us.
Things slow down in the egg laying department during the dark winter months, and we like to let nature take its course and give the hens a much needed break at this time vs. pushing them past what is natural with artificially extending their daylight.
Thing is, it seems that if anything, the demand for eggs increases during these cold months, especially with holiday baking and hearty winter appetites. We have standing egg orders, advanced egg orders, last minute egg orders, and often, last but not least, begging and pleading from our own family members who have too often been egg deprived to fulfill above orders!
To try to cope with the increasing demand for our fresh, pastured eggs we recently added to the flock some young hens. They are maturing nicely and finding their place in the pecking order.
We recently had a request for “doubles”…something that the customer remembered from her childhood. I knew exactly what she was after, and knew that we’d be seeing some soon. Young hens tend to have multiple ovulations that can result in a little assembly line glitch that consumers of factory hen produced eggs don’t see, as they are considered below the grade and are not sold in your average grocery store. But people who know farm fresh eggs enjoy this little production error immensely! We’ve seen plenty of double yolkers, and knew these young girls would soon give us some, but what we didn’t expect was an actual egg within an egg! You can see it in the above photo, along with a bona fide double yolker. It was a soft shelled egg – very reptilian, and without a yolk. Apparently the phenomenon causing this is called a counter-peristalsis contraction that pushed an not-fully-calcified yolkless egg backwards to join with the next forming egg at the top of the oviduct.
Blue thoroughly enjoyed this little egg with his breakfast…shell and all, and we had one of those many “oh that’s so cool!” moments that we never tire of here on the farm!