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A Teeny Tiny Wind Egg

>7 March 2013
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Wind Egg

We got the funniest surprise in our nesting box today. Jada went out early to collect the first of the morning eggs. I was in the kitchen getting a snack together for baby Elias when she came bursting through the backdoor, “Mommy! Guess what I found!” She opened her palms to reveal two regular eggs, and one teeny tiny one. Her eyes were wide with wonder as she continued, “Where do you think this came from?”

I looked at the egg for a moment, and was suddenly overcome with the humor of what I realized she was thinking. As I laughed hysterically, she vocalized what I’d suspected, “Do you think another bird might have flown through the wire and laid an egg in the nesting boxes?”

A wind egg is a teeny tiny egg laid by young hens

When I was finally able to compose myself, I explained, “No baby. Sometimes chickens will lay a very tiny egg when it’s their first time laying. We probably just have a hen who is beginning to lay for the first time.” Excited by her discovery, Jada carefully carried the little egg around to show it to her brothers and sister, who all laughed when they saw it.

Jada then asked me a very good question. “I wonder what the yolk looks like!” “It’s probably very, very tiny,” I said with a smile.

To our surprise, there was no yolk at all! Instead, there was a little piece of what looked like flesh.

wind egg

I was curious about what might cause a tiny egg like that, and wondered if there was a particular name for it. Here’s what I found out from The Chicken Encyclopedia by Gail Damerow:

 yolkless egg / An egg containing no yolk, most often occurring as a pullet’s first effort, produced before her reproductive system is fully geared up. Sometimes a hen will lay a small yolkless egg at the beginning or end of her laying cycle. A yolkless egg may also occur if a bit of reproductive tissue breaks away, stimulating the egg-producing glands to treat it like a yolk and wrap it in albumen, membranes, and a shell as it travels through the oviduct. In place of a yolk, this egg will contain a small particle of grayish tissue. (Also called: cock egg; dwarf egg; no-yolker; wind egg)

The term ‘wind egg’ actually refers to any imperfect egg, and includes those laid without a shell and those that are rotten. Some people even call them fairy eggs (I think that would make a very fun story to tell!).

Who knew we’d have such a fascinating lesson in eggs today?! You just never know what you’re gonna learn.

Have you ever had a chicken lay a ‘wind egg’? What have you heard them called?

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17 Comments »

  • Doug said:

    Never seen one before. We get really small eggs on the first time layers but never that small.

  • Tina said:

    I just saw your post and it is such a coincidence that just moments ago I posted a picture of the “teeny tiny” egg I got today! And reading what you wrote about it being a first time layer is interesting. I only have 4 girls and have been getting approx. 2-3 eggs a day. Lately it’s been 1 every other day. Does this mean one of my girls hasn’t been laying the 6 months I have owned her?
    These are my first chickens, we are just starting our little hobby farm and I’m learning learning learning!

  • Shannon said:

    Cool! We have gotten some tiny ones, but they have had a yolk. I love how raising some small creatures at our house has taught us so many “lessons” that we would have never experience otherwise.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Doug,

    Yeah, we’ve had small eggs, but this one was TINY, lol!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    That’s so funny, Tina! It could mean that your hen is just beginning a new cycle. Although, this could be her first. You never know!

  • Charlotte said:

    I have gotten a few now in the past 3 or 4 years I’ve had chickens & my friend Penny at backtobasicliving.com got me started in keeping chicken calls them itty bitty eggs. She saves hers by putting them up some were to dry out. (it takes a few months for them to dry out all the way) I so do it now too and have 5 out of all I’ve gotten so far from my hens. They are all so cute and fun to find.

  • Kari @ The Micro Farm Project said:

    We have had a couple of wind eggs on our farm. One was completely empty! I commented that it was very lightweight, and when my daughter cracked it, it contained nothing but air. A true “wind” egg, if I ever saw one!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Oh, that’s funny, Kari!

  • Lisa Lynn said:

    It’s been awhile since I’ve had one of those :) Last year, just a week or 2 before Easter, I had several. Our homeschooling friends were coming over for a visit, so I placed my little Easter bunnies in the center of the table with the little eggs. Everyone was amazed when I told them the eggs were real and cracked one open for them to see!

    I love how excited your children were :) My son is 17 and rarely gets excited by stuff like this anymore.

  • Meg said:

    We had one once and I thought it was the cutest thing ever. :-) Upon searching about what it was online, I found a name for it to which I call them now: fart eggs.

    “Wind” eggs sound so much better, but we still call ours fart eggs.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Meg,

    I came across that term also, but wasn’t gonna go there, LOL! Thanks for keeping it real ;)

  • Steffanie said:

    We got a super tiny perfectly round one recently that was without a yolk too. We had a great time exploring it and the kids carried it around all day just for fun. Chickens just never get old do they? :-)

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Oh, that’s so fun, Steffanie :) Maybe I’ll get a yolkless egg one day, too.

  • Jaci said:

    We are going to get tiny eggs from our serama chickens…they are the smallest chicken in the world and it takes 3-5 of their eggs to equal a typical egg….of course the seramas are just for fun…we have 4-8 typical birds too…depending kn who’s a rooster

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Jaci,

    How cute!! That does sound like fun :)

  • Little Wife said:

    I have had lots of “pullet” eggs, which is all I have ever heard them called. But never one without a yolk! So cool. I love learning new things. I think a wind egg is a better name anyway!

  • Linda said:

    ALL my eggs are that size. The only hens I have right now are bantams and that’s about a normal sized egg for them. It takes 10-12 of them to scramble for just my hubby and me. But they eat very little, take up very little room and are so much easier to care for than large chickens. Besides they are soooo stinkin’ cute.

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