Heather's ovaries are packing up
and her ova have wrinkles.
It happens to all us girls as we get older.
When my grandsons were coming to grips with eggs coming out of chooks' bums, they were concerned there might be chickens in them. I explained to my daughter, their mother (who also seemed confused about where babies come from) that chickens just ovulate almost every day...but the ovum is only fertilized if there is a rooster involved.
Well there is a rooster involved, but if they are not incubated, no big deal (sorry Brewster).
Incidentally, my daughter turned a little green when I explained.
Different breeds have been developed to have more ova and to ovulate more frequently.
The egg producers prefer a rapid fire,
At the moment we have five laying hens.
Three are barred (or non-white) leghorns, are just over one year old and lay nice smooth white eggs like the pretty one in the photos.
We also have two Isa Browns - a breed specifically bred for egg farming. They ovulate often and very frequently BUT they burn out pretty quickly.
The Isa Browns, Irene and Heather, were somehow liberated from an egg farm where they had lived as battery hens. Before you get any ideas, I did not do the deed - but I was happy to give the girls a good home for the rest of their natural lives.
As Schultz, from Hogan's Heroes would say, 'I know nutting!'.
Anyway, I think the battery farm got the best laying years from Heather and Irene. They don't lay that often now. Maybe once every week or so.
We never get to see Irene's eggs because she keeps them for herself and eats them as soon as she lays them. She isn't interested in anybody else's eggs so I don't care. They are her eggs after all and if she wants to eat them she can. Personally, it isn't something I would do.
Those big, wrinkled and ridged specimens in the photos, are all Heather's own work. They feel a bit like sandpaper. I have a lot of sympathy for her...they are large and must be very scratchy on the way out.
But they are rich and wonderful on the inside and the taste belies their ugly exterior.
More power to the old girls, I say!
FOOTNOTE: The new chicks are all crossbreeds but from good laying stock. They should be good producers when they come on line in Spring. I have especially high hopes for one we have named, Vera.
She has great big feet...but I don't know if that is an indication of anything.