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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Noodle's Giant Blue Egg

Every winter, our chickens completely stop laying eggs for at least a month.  Then as the days get longer they slowly give us more and more eggs.  For the last month or so, we've been getting eggs but if I wasn't home in the mornings to collect them, the chickens often ate them.  Ewww, cannibalism.

Before last fall, I would close them up in their pen every night, lest a raccoon get them.  And often in the mornings I wouldn't have time to run outside and let them out so they could roam the garden yard or into the front of the house if I left the gate open.  But I got lazy in the fall and realized that they went back into their pen each night and no predatory animals ever seemed to bother them.  So I just stopped closing them up at night.  

By not closing them up at night, I realized that they were laying eggs on my potting bench, rather than in the cozy nesting boxes Dave built.  The silly birds also like to kick out all the fluffy bedding I line the nesting boxes with, and historically they'd only use them until all the bedding was gone.  (HELLO, chickies!  How about NOT removing all the bedding you like so much?)

So I filled up their nesting boxes with nice, dry wood shavings and set some egg-looking rocks in there to make them realize that that's where Mama Hen wants them to lay their eggs...not on the potting bench.  

Since then, they've been laying 1-4 eggs a day in the nesting box, with only a cannibalized egg every so often.  Once, I saw a non-calcified blue egg so that oozed all over the place.  But otherwise, we got a lot of normal eggs.

This past weekend, I found a HUGE blue egg in the nesting box, laid by Noodle.  I was so excited that I showed it off to Dave and all the kids outside.  Dave and I were the only ones super impressed because the kids didn't really understand how big it was by comparison.
Two normal eggs flanking the Big Blue Egg, plus a kitchen ruler so you can see the measurement comparison.
This picture doesn't really get across just how massive this egg was.  Weird how different pictures make things appear different.
Holy ovary...this picture certainly shows how big it is!
Once Noodle gave us another blue egg the following evening, I weighed both of them to compare.  The big one was ~ 1/4 pound (4 oz) and the regular one was ~ 1/8 pound (2 oz).  Even her normal eggs are the 'jumbo' size from the grocery store.
The blue eggs on the left are Noodle's giant and regular sized eggs.  The other brown eggs are from our other (non bantam) hens.  Baby Chicken (the bantam, about a 1/4 size of a regular hen) lays the cutest little eggs but she's always been irregular with her laying so we don't get them too often.
Yesterday morning we cracked open the Big Blue Egg and found, not surprisingly, two yolks.  We've had double yolks from our chickens before, but always as two smaller yolks in a regular sized egg.  It isn't uncommon.  In fact, you can buy whole cartons of double yolk eggs from the Vega Farm table at the farmers market.

Eddie was pretty confused that the egg contained double yolks.  He looked at me to gauge my reaction (excited!) and this is the look he shot back at me.  Translated into words it means: "I dunno...Mama, are you tricking me?"
The surprising thing to me was that these were two full sized yolks in a double sized egg.  That's like normally birthing 8 pound children and then one pregnancy you have to push out a 16 pound baby.  LORDY, can you imagine?!

Edward came to visit me in South Africa back in 2002 at the end of my study abroad program.  We rented a car and went on a road trip on part of the famed 'garden route.' We spent one night in Oudtshoorn and were served an entire ostrich egg for breakfast.  It was INSANELY huge--like a whole platter of scrambled egg--and so rich that we struggled to eat most of it.  I tried explaining this giant egg story to Eddie and he didn't understand.  Clearly he doesn't yet know that lots of animals lay eggs and that we usually only eat chicken eggs.  (Maybe a trip to the Asian market for some quail eggs is in order...I could make a whole "mini meal" with small versions of things...eggs, mini toasts, baby bananas?  FUN!  And that reminds me, Steph: we still need to have our Big Dinner Party where everything is giant sized like that pretzel we ate in Austria!)

Anyway, those twin yolks were yummy!


Kelly said...

The double yoked giant egg is cool and all, but the look on Eddie's face is the best part of this post! So funny and cute :D

steph.kelley said...

Ahhhh giant pretzel!! Yes! How funny, I haven't thought about the giant dinner party in ages. Do the mini-dinner and show Eddie what eggs are all about! :) He is a real cutie, that guy. And whatever quickbread you made there looks miiiighty tasty. xoxoxo