Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pullet Eggs

Maybe it is ridiculous but when I saw my first pullet egg in October, I was giddy with joy. It was like Christmas as a child.
And even though this happens every October, I look forward with the same level of excitement as Christmas morn. Like presents mounting under the tree, one by one the hens comb's change from blushed red to a rich ruby red, a sure sign eggs will soon arrive. The eggs start out tiny and grow rapidly in size with each time the hen lays one. As for cooking, I just use two eggs instead of one when they are this small.
What makes these pullets eggs special is you are never sure what they will lay as their bodies work out the ins and outs of egg laying production. We've had eggs with only a dot of yellow for a yolk, no yolk, two yolks, (once) a three yolker, no shell, and so ginormous an egg that it killed the hen that laid it. It's part of the surprises that await you when you open the coop door. Surprises with lots of yummy flavor.

This year, we haven't gotten any eggs that have a gelatin like shell instead of a hard shell but we have had a steady stream of double yolkers. I suspect that they are a sign of heavy layers as this has been the case in the past. The years I don't have very many double yolkers, the hens aren't laying well. That has been the case with the last couple batches of chickens I've ordered. Solution, change hatcheries. I have suspect that the old hatchery was emphasising show quality way too much. To me, pretty is as pretty does.  
Just for those of you who maybe don't have chickens and all this fun. I found this interesting site on the abnormal eggs that pullets lay.
DOUBLE YOLK EGGS: Double Yolkers appear when ovulation occurs too rapidly, or when one yolk somehow gets "lost" and is joined by the next yolk. Double yolkers may be by a pullet whose productive cycle is not yet well synchronized. They're occasionally laid by a heavy-breed hen, often as an inherited trait.
NO YOLK: No-yolkers are called "dwarf", "wind" [or, more commonly, "fart"] eggs.  Such an egg is most often a pullet's first effort, produced before her laying mechanism is fully geared up.

MORE THAN TWO YOLKS: Occasionally, an egg contains more than two yolks.  I once found a pullet's egg that contained three.  The greatest number of yolks found in one egg is NINE.  Record breaking eggs are likely to be multiple yolkers.  The Guinness Book of Records lists the world's largest [chicken] egg (with a diameter of 9 inches/22.5 cm) as having five yolks and the heaviest egg (1 pound/0.45 kg) as having a double yolk and a double shell.
NO SHELL:Every once in a while we get an egg with a membrane, but without a shell.  It feels like a water balloon. This is another accident of the hen's reproductive system and is not necessarily an indication of any problem.  The membrane was placed on the yolk and white, but it somehow slipped past the "shell mechanism" and the shell wasn't deposited.
EGG WITHIN AN EGG: An egg within an egg, or a double shelled egg appears when an egg that is nearly ready to be laid reverses direction and gets a new layer of albumen covered by a second shell. Sometimes the reversed egg joins up with the next egg and the two are encased together within a new shell.  Double shelled eggs are so rare that no one knows exactly why or how they happen.
To answer a question some of you may pose. You have to have a rooster in with your hens to get this. Chicks don't form inside fertilized eggs unless there is adequate amount of heat and humidity. 

If you notice a blood spot in your egg don't panic. It is only a broken blood vessel. And those thick meat like spots are nothing either. Just scoop out the blood spot or meaty spot and cook as usual or throw them in the trash if that makes you more comfortable.

Remember, practice makes perfect and perfection doesn't happen except in the grocery store where they've weeded out all the interesting eggs. Not to mention those with vitamins attached. 

So while you finish reading this post, I'm going to take a little nap. Too bad I don't have cute company like Kirk had last week. I've not felt well since yesterday. Not sick but I'm having one of my Adrenaline bouts where my temperature won't stay up. 93's F. all morning yesterday and only a bit better the rest of the day. Today, my temperature and blood pressure are down. The spirit is willing too keep going but the body weak. Gr....!!!!

Now if only the good brownies would show up and clean up my kitchen while I sleep. sigh!!!

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