Friday, May 17, 2013

Chicken Surprises (or Who Layed This Rubber Egg?)

After a few years of keeping chickens I thought I had this whole thing pretty much figured out. I still encounter the occasional new problem (sour crop, anyone?) but for the most part it is smooth sailing. I have gotten used to the simple, daily beauty of the eggs.

Sometimes the hens will surprise me by laying their eggs in a different place. When I let the flock out to free range the hens almost always come back to the nesting box to lay.  Occasionally they will surprise me and leave eggs in some hidden place or another. Tonight I went into our workshop, which is open on one side, and found a little nest of three banty eggs. A few weeks ago I found this little nest outside in a protected place:

But sometimes they still give me a real surprise. Yesterday I went out to the coop to find this:

At first I didn't even know what it was. Then I realized it was a very rubbery, torn chicken egg. There was fresh egg white seeping from it but no sign of the yolk. The strange dark bits in the photo are just bits of sawdust and grass from the coop. Another weird thing was that I found it in the main part of the coop and not in a nesting box. I googled soft-shelled eggs and it sounds like a fairly common abnormality and nothing to be too concerned about as long as it doesn't become routine. In the meantime I will keep my eye out for the rubber chicken that is laying rubber eggs in my coop. I have a few questions to ask it.


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