The Mysterious Case of the Misshapen Egg

Luma’s laid a few doozies before, but yesterday’s egg was particularly funny looking. There is a distinct bulge on one side, and it has an overall cockeyed appearance, as if it were a fossil egg inexpertly chipped out from sedimentary rock.

The picture doesn’t do it justice, but click to enlarge for a better view of the bulge.

Luma seems healthy and happy enough, but I started fretting. A few quick Internet searches and a flip through my copy of Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, by Gail Damerow, yielded many possible explanations, but no concrete answers.

One interesting cause of lopsided eggs is especially frequent ovulation on the part of the hen. Sounds like, if a hen is ovulating too often, the unformed eggs may bump up against the egg that is on its way out. In this case, the less developed egg can get slightly “smooshed” by the one with the hard shell. Could it be that Lu’s marathon egg laying is leading to a traffic jam of sorts?

Folks in online forums have discussed pullets laying oddly shaped eggs when they are getting into their laying groove. Should a month and a half be long enough for our Barred Rock pullet to find her groove? I don’t know. As a side note, I have never been quite sure what the term pullet means. A pullet is a hen that is less than a year old. We’ve got a while before the girls graduate to full henhood.

But I digress. Two other possible causes of eggs that are less than perfectly shaped are infection or other stressors. Kelly tends to be of the opinion that our pullets are perfect in every way, and it’s a bit of a hard sell to convince her that a mere egg bulge is cause for questioning. She agreed, however, that perhaps it’s worth doubling back and checking that our laying mash has the proper ratio of calcium and other nutrients (though one would think it would be formulated to have just that).

In the meantime, the Barred Rock and Leghorn flock is devouring all treats, laying on an (almost) daily basis, and making a rather horrifying ruckus every morning at seven o’clock. Roosters, we have come to realize, are not the only ones that disturb the peace.

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