Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Remember this from Sesame Street? That's the the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw this egg.  And then I thought, "Well, that had to hurt!"  Something like the equivalent of us humans squeezing out a football.  Eeeeyikes.....

In all seriousness, this is the second humongous egg that someone has laid this week and it's caused me to ultra-curious as to what causes it.  Is it normal?  Do I need to be concerned?  Is this the return of the double yolks or even triple yolks?  A newbie chicken farmer has lots of questions.

Thank goodness for Google because I was able to find lots of great information on this odd phenomena.  Prepare yourself, because you are about to learn more about chicken ovaries and egg laying than you probably want to know.

Hens are alot like us human women in that hormones dictate the development of an egg.  In good layers, a yolk is released approximately every 23 hours and the ovum travels through the reproductive system until a complete egg is formed.  The majority of the egg's time is spent in what's called the "Shell Gland" where the outer shell is added - in fact, it will spend about 20 hours in that gland.  And then, as the egg is laid, the protecting coating or "bloom" is added.  What's happening when we get a double-yolked or triple-yolked egg is that two yolks are relased at the same time or in rapid succession or, for some reason, the first yolk gets stuck in the oviduct.  Apparently, it's pretty common in new layers as they get the hang of it.  And, althought there are some breeds that are more generically predispositioned to laying  multi-yolked eggs than others, there is a still a probability of just 1 in 1000 that an egg will have multiple yolks.  Fascinating, no?  If you really want more info with helpful (gross) pictures, go check out this site.

I'm not sure which of the girls laid these as they are different colors - it may very well be that one is from one of the Austrolorps and the other from a Barred Rock.  I thought I might be able to tell by which hen was walking funny.  (Just kidding.)    Maybe I should start referring to the Austrolorp's as Aus-triches.  (*giggle*)

Okay, enough with the corny jokes.  Hope you're enjoying your day,


  1. I had a hen lay a gigantic egg not too long ago. I couldn't even close the carton it was so tall! I swear she walked funny for a week but I was probably imagining it...

  2. This was really interesting! We have a young Buff Orpington who, every few weeks, lays a double yolked egg, but I didn't realize that the odds were 1/1,000! She's clearly beaten them!


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