What the Shell

November 29, 2012 § 8 Comments

More chicken drama.

A few days ago, after a week of successes with the new penthouse, I went out back to let the chickens out and found one of them pecking at something inside the coop.  At first I thought she was just eating her own turds (weird and gross), but upon further inspection realized that it was actually an egg.  With no shell.

What.

I scooped up the gelatinous lump with a very obvious yolk in the middle with my little shovel and, after a lot of gagging, threw it in the trash.  I then got online to make sure that what I had found was actually what I thought it was.

During this process I learned way more about the chicken reproductive system than I ever really wanted to know.

But I also found out that these shell-less eggs, aka “rubber eggs”, do in fact exist.

There were numerous reports of shell-less eggs showing up in both chickens that are beginning their laying cycle (younger chickens) and those who are ending it (older chickens). It can also be caused by stress, poor nutrition, or a calcium, phosophorous, or vitamin D deficiency.

I also learned that some people EAT THESE COAGULATED BLOBS.  They’re like, “Oh yeah, just throw it in some boiling water and let it boil like a normal egg.”

Um, no.

While I’m really hoping our chickens aren’t getting towards the end of their laying cycle, the general consensus across chicken forums seemed to be: don’t freak if it only happens occasionally, because sometimes it just happens.  And so far, for us, it’s only happened once.

So I’m not freaking.  Yet.

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