Chicken Questions

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Look at that! Another egg.  The one on the left is the first one.  The one on the right is brand new.  I have some questions from you chicken experts.  Here’s what I thnk I know already.

  • Once a chicken lays an egg, there are 4 or 5 more in the “pipeline” that will be layed (or is that supposed to be laid??) in the next few days.  I only know this because it was told to me in a comment this week.
  • When they first start laying, the eggs are smaller and they gradually get bigger.  The first egg is 1.6 ounces.  The second egg is 1.8 ounces.  The eggs I buy from the Amish are 2.3 – 2.6 ounces each.
  • The Ameraucana chickens are supposed to lay blue, green or blueish-green eggs (if they live that long!  Smokey is an Ameraucana and he and his partner in crime are still being mean to the other two Ameraucanas.).  So, I’m pretty sure this egg came from one of the six Gold Stars.

My questions are:

  1. Given the difference in color, do you think the same chicken layed (or laid??) this egg?  Does the same chicken sometimes lay different colored eggs on different days?  They’re not yet in the real coop so they have no nesting/laying boxes and it was in the exact same spot in the wooden box as was the first egg?  That makes me think the same chicken gave me both eggs.
  2. When I got the egg, she must’ve just layed it because it was really, really warm.  When I bring them in, should I leave them on the counter and let them come to room temp before putting them in the fridge or is it safe to go straight from the chicken to the fridge?

Thanks!

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Comments

  1. 1

    Kerstin says

    I would say two different chickens laid these eggs. Mine each have a slightly different “style” of egg, the shape, color, etc… Sometimes when the chickens are young the eggs are crusty, not smooth. Looks like it would hurt to lay them. I would guess that the Amish are sorting the eggs they sell so you get all “large”. We put the eggs straight in the fridge, but wipe off any dirt or poo first. Eggs can absorb contaminants through the shell.

  2. 2

    says

    I can’t believe you didn’t eat that egg yesterday……..your first egg and your saving it!!!!!!!!

    I would bet they are from two different chickens seeing both shape and color are different. Your right about the first eggs being smaller and they will get larger as time goes on and if I recall right, they will start getting smaller again when the chicken is close to the end of her production years.

    I am enjoying watching your chicken saga, it has bought back memories that I had long forgotten about.

    Karen L

  3. 3

    says

    Great questions! I can’t wait for more answers. I am so new to the chicken thing and my little girls are a month younger than yours. But my big 3 hens are still only giving me 2 eggs a day. I think Sue the Slacker is being Sue the Stubborn!

    How long does molt last? These girls were a year old in May.

    • 3.1

      says

      I should clarify–I have 3 hens. 2 of the hens are laying one egg each per day and 1 hen is a slacker.

  4. 4

    says

    Judy,
    You don’t have to refrigerate the eggs–as much as you bake and cook, and since you have air conditioning, they can sit in a bowl on the counter.
    We would write the date on the eggs with a pencil so we would use the oldest ones first.
    Remember, really fresh eggs do not work well for boiled eggs. Let them sit a few days before boiling them–something to do with the membrane being easier to peel the egg if it sits a bit.

  5. 5

    kathy says

    Love your joy over the “milestones” with the chickens. Keep up the updates. Sorry but I don’t know that much about raising chickens.

  6. 6

    Glenda says

    Usually chicks will lay wherever ther’s an egg. Hence the alabaster eggs in different boxes to entice them. Sometimes I’ll have 3 eggs in same box. Now I’m not real smart on’ book learnig’ about chickens just what I’ve observed. The eggs usually look the smae from each chick, just get larger as time goes on. I wash mine really well before I refrigate them. I’ll use soap and water if it’s really ickey. [ is that a word ?]Don’t worry they will all kick in soon. Watch the combs, the brighter red ones are the ones that are laying or soon will be. Now, is this as clear as mud for you ? LOL Glenda

  7. 7

    Becky in GA says

    Congratulations! I know you are so very proud of your chickens. Enjoy those egs!

  8. 8

    says

    I just love it! I was going to ask, do you have to do eggs like you do a water filter, throw the first one or two away? LOl….sorry, couldn’t resist. Congratulations!

  9. 9

    Judi says

    Judy Congratulations on the eggs. I know nothing about chickens or their eggs but I do love to eat the fresh ones. They taste so much better.

  10. 10

    says

    I think I remember from my chicken days that the egg is coated with a substance that helps keep it fresh? Not sure. So we only wiped off the yucky stuff and didn’t wash.

    Is the Ameraucana different than the Araucana?

    Also seem to remember that Araucana chickes lay smaller eggs? Is that true? Oh,oh, I have more questions than answers. ha

    I’m jealous! I may have to get some more chickens!

    You are having ALL the fun!

  11. 11

    says

    This is fun to hear all about this and a real learning experience. Now I am determined to try to find some farm-fresh eggs around here…but not quite sure where….maybe the Amish store that is about 40 miles north of here would have them.

  12. 12

    says

    Judy,
    This brings back soooooo many memories of going out to the hen house with my grandpa and gathering eggs in a basket or my mother’s apron.
    How I miss truly fresh eggs!

  13. 13

    Amy says

    You don’t have to refrigerate eggs. (They work better in baking at room temp., especialy if you are whipping the whites.)

  14. 14

    Sheila says

    After reading all these replies, I’m curious at what point an egg *does* need refrigerated??

  15. 15

    Denise says

    Eggs need a constant temp to stay fresh (had a friend who used to work for the egg council and we were actually talking about this when I bought eggs at the farmer’s market one day) but if they do sit at room temp, your eggs will age more in one day at room temp than if it was in your fridge for a week.

  16. 16

    Julie H. says

    Those eggs are from two different hens. A hen will lay the same color eggs. Some of my hens even have their own shell texture. Yes they have several eggs “in the works” but the shell is last. Before that, there is a papery membrane in various degrees of hardness.

    Don’t wash the eggs before you use them. Lynn K. was right that there is a protective membrane on them. I wipe away really discusting stuff or wash it (scrub lightly with a brush) and use it right away. If you gather eggs right after they lay (mine lay between 9-10 a.m.) they shouldn’t have a chance to get pooed on. Leaving eggs in the pen too long encourages pecking/egg-eating, especially by the lazier hens or roosters.

    It’s best to store your eggs wide end up in an egg carton. To check an egg for freshness, float it in a bowl of water. A fresh egg will sink. An okay egg will have big end up but not floating. Anything that floats, dispose of.

    It’s also correct to use week-old eggs for hard boiling. They won’t peel well when too fresh.

    I would recomend refridgerating as soon as you gather them. Take out what eggs you’ll need for baking when you start gathering your other ingredients and preheating your oven. I don’t think it makes much difference (eggs at room temperature) except in merengue type things. Your home grown eggs will probably whip up much better than grocery store eggs anyway.

    Don’t count on that 5 eggs a week stuff, some hens have layed an egg a day for me even through winter. Others lay every other day. They all do lay heavier in the spring. You can encourage more laying through the winter by using lights and timers but I let them take the natural winter slowdown if they wish. Later on, you can tell you heavier layers by the color of their legs and beaks. The hardest layers will have fading of these.