In the short time that our hens have been laying their eggs have grown quickly. The first three or so were banty-sized, which is to say that they were so small they appeared to have been laid by bantam hens, which are less than half the size of our big-boned barred rocks. By the end of the first week we were getting eggs that were as big as the ones the old chickens were laying (when, that is, they bothered to lay). For those of you who are interested, looking to go on Jeopardy! soon, or truly lacking in conversation starters at PTA meetings, you should know that there are a lot more egg sizes than the “jumbo” and “large” you encounter at the supermarket. There are, in fact, six official egg sizes ranging from jumbo (2.5 oz. in weight) to the diminutive pee wee (1.25 oz. in weight). Our old hens never laid anything bigger than medium (1.75 oz.).
And then . . .
|L to R: The biggest home egg ever, a store-bought large, another home egg of the usual size.|
After a whole morning of cackling from the coop I found a bona-fide jumbo in the nest box.
And then . . .
It turned out to be a double-yolker!
According to my chicken bible (Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow):
Double yolkers appear when ovulation occurs too rapidly or when one yolk for some reason moves too slowly and and is joined by the next yolk. Double yolkers may be laid by a pullet whose production cycle is not yet well synchronized. They’re occasionally laid by heavy-breed hens, often as an inherited trait.
My bet is that this was a fluke due to the girls being new to laying, but there is the chance that whoever laid this bad boy could do so on a regular basis.