This winter has been a long and cold one in Michigan. It is a welcome sight to see the snow and hope that this precipitation is replenishing the land for all that it lost in Summer’s droughts. For my flock, we do not add heat lamps or extra light sources to encourage winter laying to our coop. This time of year, as the days get longer, we begin to experience a rise in egg production. For me, this is my sign that Spring is on the horizon. It has been a far more reliable sign than that Ground Hog as egg production is regulated by light, whether natural or artificial. The longer days give hens that extra light needed to get back into the egg laying swing of things.
Just this past week, I went out to our nest boxes to collect eggs and what sight did I behold? A teeny, tiny, blue egg from my Easter Egger. This egg perplexed me. In the years that I have had chickens I have not come across such a tiny egg. It was far smaller than my Polish hen’s little white eggs. This egg was roughly the size of a United States Quarter. My boys instantly said it was a Robin’s egg, however, I knew that the coop was secured tightly and no Robin is laying eggs in this part of the country just yet.
As any good blogger would do, I immediately took pictures. I had to document this little anomaly. Then, I began to research why this happens. A quick Google search told me that this happens often enough that these tiny eggs have even earned nicknames. On some chicken keeping forums they are referred to as wind eggs. Webster’s Dictionary even defines the term.
Definition of WIND EGG:
an unimpregnated, addled, or imperfect egg; esp : an egg with a soft noncalcareous shell
Chicken breeds that are known for egg production can, in the Spring, Summer and Early Fall when the days are long enough, lay eggs every 24 to 36 hours. That is a lot of eggs, it is understandable than that sometimes things go wrong, get a bit odd to say the least. That is what this “Wind Egg” is, a whoops in the hens egg production. Further research has assured me that this happens and is a perfectly normal whoops.
A “Wind Egg” does not mean that your hen is sick or lacking nutrition. That was reassuring to say the least. Hens that are young seem to be the most responsible for “wind eggs”, however as in the case of my 3 year old hen, this can happen with older hens too. In the case of older hens laying “Wind Eggs”, this can mean that a particle of reproductive tissue broke free and started to make its way down the hen’s reproductive canal. This in turn, triggers the shell to form around the particle as if it were a yolk.
I am attributing my hen’s “wind egg” to the return of the longer days of Spring and to regularly laying eggs. Today, the wind was brisk but the ladies enjoyed even more time outdoors as the snow is melting giving way to grass and dirt. They enjoyed stretching their wings and scratching about. My girls are not fans of the snow. This extra daylight has been leaving me blessed with eggs every day this week. It is a welcome sight to see those treasures in the nest box, even the surprise ones.
|A regular day of collection eggs|