Unusual Chicken Eggs – Small & Misshapen…

“We started keeping chickens about 1 year ago. We have 10 egg layers and they all seem to be doing well as we now get 7 to 10 eggs everyday. A very unusual event occurred 2 days ago that has me stumped. One of the hens, we don’t know which one, laid an egg that is about 1/3 the size of any we have seen from our flock. Our kids have been weighing the eggs from the beginning and tracking the weight and quantity of eggs per day in a spread sheet.

Very Small Chicken Egg

Very Small Chicken Egg

Every egg so far has been between 1.65 to 2.35 oz., the small egg was 0.50 oz. I also attached a picture for you. Can you explain to me why this happened and if we should be concerned about it? Thanks for your help.” ~ Vance Foster

And…

“Duncan I’ve been getting chicken keeping secrets for a while and find it to be a wonderful learning media. I’ve had some little things with Amberlink hens 6 and the answer seems to show up in your reports. But I have a picture of an egg that was laid by one of my hens and nobody has been able to help me so far.

Unusua Chicken Egg

Unusual Chicken Egg

Hope you will know. I think this is an egg plus a second plus an egg sac all at one time. Since this was laid all other eggs are normal except for one that was extremely oval shaped.
Thank you so much ” ~ Larry Tinsley, Lakeland Fla

Thanks so much to Vance & Larry for the questions and pictures.

My answer to both of you is, “I don’t know.”

Aren’t you glad you subscribe when you get sage wisdom like that?

Seriously though, sometimes the “conveyor belt” just gets off track.

Vance, we had a small egg like yours once and only once. We thought it was so neat that we kept it for months. For some reason, we never did crack it open to see what was inside. Now I wish we had.

It seems that I read that occasionally, the ovum doesn’t fully develop into a yolk. However, it is still released as a full sized yolk would be. It goes through the process of forming just as every other egg does. The end result is a tiny egg with no yolk or maybe a very small yolk.

I’d be interested to know if you cracked it open what was inside.

Larry, your situation is not dissimilar to Vance’s in that, sometimes things just don’t work quite right.

I would agree with you that this has the makings of more than one egg.

The difference being that hens can become egg bound and this is a situation that needs to be addressed.

The term “egg bound” simply means that the hen is having a hard time laying the egg.

If you find that your hen becomes egg bound, you’ll need to help her pass the egg.

Coat your fingers with mineral oil or petroleum jelly and gently reach inside her vent.

Coat as much of the vent as you can with the lubricant as well as any portion of the egg that you can reach.

Press gently but firmly on her abdomen with your other hand to try to move the egg toward the vent.

Having said that – for both of you; if it is a one time occurrence, I wouldn’t give it a second thought and simply let it be as one of those things. If everyone is eating and drinking well and doesn’t appear to be sick, I think everything is fine.

The formation of the egg as well as the frequency of laying can be effected by environmental factors.

For instance, if your hen is startled by a thunderstorm or a close encounter with a dog, it is not uncommon for the egg to be misshapen.

Variations is color, size and shape are not uncommon.

As I said above, as long as your hens are eating and drinking well, their behavior hasn’t changed and they appear to be physically healthy, the odd egg here or there is not cause for concern.

If however, you’re seeing signs of listlessness, a change in eating habits or the like, I’d consider consulting a veterinarian.

Thanks again to both of you for your questions, I hope this has been of help.