School starts for us this week, only it didn’t really start: we don’t have much time for school, because we have to gather eggs. 😦 We recently got a new flock of chickens for our chicken houses, and we have to weigh almost every egg they lay. And there are thousands of eggs per day. I’m not kidding. We have about 24,000 chickens right now and we have to gather about 16,000 eggs a day. That’s A LOT OF EGGS! And it takes A VERY LONG TIME to pick them each off of the conveyor belt, weigh the ones that might be too heavy or too light, and put them in egg flats. Thankfully our family only has to do it for about 3 hours a day, because we aren’t the only ones working there. (Speaking of family, my sister Megan made a post about the actual chicken houses and chickens over on her blog. See it here.)
Anyway… during all those hours we find some pretty strange chicken eggs. I’ll bet you never even knew that chickens could lay eggs like the ones I’m gonna show you, but I assure you, they do. All of these eggs were found in one of our 3 chicken houses, from the same breed of boring ‘ol white chickens. Shall we begin the science lesson for today?
Let’s start with size. There are big eggs, and there are small eggs. And then there are HUGE eggs and tiny eggs. Here are the two latter sizes together for comparison.
The big ‘ol guy weighed in at a hefty 4 oz. (The eggs you buy at the store are about 2 oz.) The tiny egg is only 0.2 oz.!
Now for shape. Some eggs are almost round, some are pointy. Some eggs are short, and some are long. Here’s a long one.
Eggshells are also different textures. There are a few wrinkly ones, a few warty ones, but mainly smooth ones. There are mostly hard-shelled eggs, but once in awhile we get a softshell one (or two).
Another strange one:
Not only are the eggs strange on the outside, but they can also be strange on the inside. Remember the huge egg in the first picture? This is what was inside it:
two yolks and a tiny softshell egg! I have never seen this before. Two yolks are pretty common – we call eggs with two yolks “doubles,” and those are mostly the eggs we eat. (Sometimes this is problem, like when you make a recipe that calls for 3 eggs. Uhhh, one and a half doubles? ☺) But I have never seen an egg with two yolks AND a softshell!
Here is a picture of what’s inside a double.
Pretty boring, right? But here is an egg I found already cracked open on the belt:
A softshell with another softshell inside it!
And last but not least, we have the triple. A fairly rare egg that has – can you guess? – three yolks.
The list could go on and on, but those are the only kinds I took pictures of, so I guess I’ll stop there. 🙂
So are you surprised or what? It’s astounding what diversity there is in one kind of chicken egg, let alone in the whole world. What an amazing God it took to create everything!