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Egg season!

Pullet egg

We've now got seven hens laying!  That tiny egg in the middle is a pullet egg, the smallest one I've ever seen.  Sometimes, a hen will produce a tiny, yolkless egg when she's first starting to lay, so I think this picture (taken November 3) marks the date when our last Cuckoo Marans hen came into production.

The eggs are smaller, prettier, and less numerous than we were getting from our Golden Comets, but I hope that our heirloom Black Australorps and Cuckoo Marans will make up for their lower yields by eating less storebought feed and raising their own young.  Right now, we're getting around 0.475 pounds of eggs per day (4 medium eggs) and are feeding the flock roughly 1 pound of laying pellets.  That's a feed conversion rate of 2.1:1 and a feed cost of about $1 per dozen eggs.  Not too shabby, even if you factor in having to feed the flock for six months before they start to lay.

Keep up the good work, girls!  We like having extra eggs to sink into lemon meringue pies.



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Wow, that's the smallest chicken egg I've ever seen. That egg in front, on your left hand looks huge, is that just the angle or is it much bigger?
Comment by Fritz Tue Nov 8 09:34:50 2011
Wow. My girls' first eggs were smaller than normal but not that small! Curious if it is indeed yolk-less when you crack it open. I got a few double yolk eggs when they first started laying and a few shell-less eggs but never a yolk-less egg.
Comment by Ellen Tue Nov 8 10:56:47 2011

Fritz --- It's probably just the angle, although the one older hen we have (a cochin) does lay eggs a bit bigger than the pullet eggs.

Ellen --- It was indeed yolkless, which I guess explains the tiny size. I'm pretty sure that's the first yolkless pullet egg I've ever seen, although I have read about them. Mark mentioned a shell-less egg the day before we got this tiny pullet egg, so it's possible one of the hens just took a while to work up to real eggs.

Comment by anna Tue Nov 8 17:20:10 2011
very lovely eggs. how old were the marans hens when they started laying?
Comment by jess s Tue Nov 8 17:21:20 2011
They were right around 20 weeks old. Pullets can start to lay at anywhere from 5 to 7 months (or longer if the daylength gets too short before they start and they wait until spring.) We put a light in the coop because we were concerned we'd started our layers too late this spring and didn't want to wait until 2012 to see eggs.
Comment by anna Tue Nov 8 18:52:16 2011

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime