By Stephanie Dayle
"My Chicken Laid a Tiny Egg!"
In fact, mine just did. A teeny tiny egg.
Not a bantam, and not a new layer. The newest layers in my flock are a year old and have been actively laying for 6 months, in fact, their eggs are just now finally starting to to get a little bigger. Judging from the color of the egg I would guess it came from one of my Australorps or my Barred Rock hen.
It was not in the nest box, I found it out in the run on the ground. The first time I found one of these eggs I thought perhaps it was a wild bird's egg. In fact this time I still looked around the run for a nest, tis the season for nesting birds after all, I wanted to make sure.
13 g or 1/2 ounce
This is called a "fairy egg" or as backyarders humorously refer them as "fart eggs" they commonly have no yolk, but some of the them can have a small or abnormal yolk. It is fairly normal and can happen from time to time.
Mine had no yolk
Common causes for "fairy eggs" are disruptions in a hen's reproductive cycle. So if your chickens are on a timed light in the winter time to continue egg production and you were late getting your light turned on (it only takes a couple of days of low daylight hours for your hens to shutdown egg laying for the winter), this drop in daylight hours and then sudden unnatural increase in daylight hours will cause fairy eggs when her production ramps back up again after being exposed for the proper amount of daylight hours for a length of time.
Another thing that can disrupt the reproductive pattern in hens is a sudden lack of water or food. Running out of water on a hot day can threaten a chicken's life, their reproductive system will temporarily shut down to divert energy to keeping the chicken alive and a fairy egg will result. There are also times that fairy eggs just happen and there is no explanation for them.
Obviously I have not deprived my hens of food or water so I will confess to you all that I was late last fall in getting my lights on a timer for the coop. Daylight hours are short up here where I live and if you want consistent eggs through the winter a coop light is necessary. My bad.
Fairy eggs are cute like a miniature chicken eggs, sometimes they are darker than normal sized eggs because they spent more time in that part of the reproductive track than they normally would've. They make great "show and tell" pieces for kids, snacks for cats or dogs, but are otherwise worthless (this doesn't mean they go to waste, nothing goes to waste at my place, personally, I turn them into dog snacks).
Have you found a fairy egg?