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I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Poor old Heather!

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, 
prolific ovulator! 

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.


  1. Lovely wrinkly old eggs :)

    It is funny that people in general think there are chickens in eggs when they are home grown so to speak. We have three hens, and some friends are often interestingly wary of babies in their eggs.

    Now I thought elephants ate peanuts off trees, and I may have thought that pineapple trees were prolific in northern qld, but I have long known one thing for sure, and that is that you need a rooster to fertilise an egg!

  2. Yep there's no virgin birth in chookland!

  3. You're a crackup Hazel - I laughed when I read this one! We've had chooks for years and even I learnt something. I hasten to add I did know about the rooster.
    We get a few of those wrinkly old eggs too occasionaly from our old girls too.

  4. I am so glad that people find this post amusing. It is even funnier if you know that Hazel has three sisters - Irene, Vera and Heather.. Hazel is still the naught little sister. He he he!

  5. Irene's a lucky girl.. Sounds like she's earned the right to spend her last days dining on her own eggs!

  6. I suppose you will chop Heather and Vera's heads off next naughty little Hazel! I'm gunna tell ya Mum!

  7. Oops I meant Heather and Irene's heads.

  8. I had no idea eggs got like that. So interesting the things you learn every day

  9. Fascinating stuff Hazel - even though I am not a chicken-keeping person. Are you going to enhance your "Eggs produced" stats to show a breakdown of how many eggs come from each hen?

  10. Wow thanks for those pics. I never thought of what an egg would look like from an older chicky!


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