Thirty Nine and One Fourth Eggs

Michael came in from doing night time chores with a big basket full of eggs…


As he sat it down on the table, he announced, “There were thirty nine and one fourth eggs tonight.”

The kids looked at him and said, “Huh?”

He then showed us a tiny little egg that was in the pile on the hay bales in the back of the barn…


Egg on the left is an average sized egg; the one in the middle is a normal sized pullet egg, and the last is the “one forth” egg.

It’s not the first time we’ve gotten small ones like that. In fact, it happens ever great once in a while. The first couple times it happened we wondered if the small egg was actually a chicken egg or if some other bird was trying to share the chickens’ nest. But we’ve found those small eggs do really come from the chickens.

So, why does it happen?

Tiny eggs, also known as fairy eggs, will usually come from a pullet that’s just starting to lay. Her body isn’t quite ready to start laying yet, so it doesn’t release a yolk, but it will form a small yolkless egg anyway. When this happens, it’s just her body trying to get into a normal laying rhythm. Occasionally a grown hen can also lay a fairy egg. This happens when a small bit of reproductive tissue enters the hen’s oviduct and triggers the formation of an egg. It can also happen when a hen is startled or there’s been a big change in her routine. Normally finding a fairy egg is nothing to be concerned about unless a hen starts laying them all the time.

As I was doing a little research, I came across some interesting history on fairy eggs. During the middle ages, they were also known as cock eggs. Cock eggs were used to describe any abnormally shaped egg, including rubber or tubular eggs, which are eggs that are formed without a hard shell. Now a day, these sorts of eggs are sometimes called fart eggs. According to folklore, cock eggs were believed to be laid by cocks/roosters and considered evil and would bring illness or bad luck. If a cock was believed to have laid an egg, it was usually executed. In order to protect against evil, it was believed the cock egg must never be brought into the house; instead it must be thrown over the roof and smash on the other side if the house.

Well… not only did we bring the chance of evil happening into the house; we might have unleashed it because we cracked it open to see what was inside….


Guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens… I’m not too worried though, it’s better than having it smashed on the roof from a too short of a throw.

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2 Responses to Thirty Nine and One Fourth Eggs

  1. Isn’t it crazy what superstitions people believed back then.

  2. Shelly says:

    Yes, it’s very crazy. Just glad they are all superstitions and not really true! 🙂

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