Ron found two strange eggs in the coop several days ago. We think they were Cleo’s first eggs.
Cleo’s been doing the “I’ve gone through chicken puberty” hen squat thing (hard to explain…) for about two weeks and she had started rooting around the nest boxes, but we never saw her actually get into said boxes. It seemed like she was going to start laying any day, but she wasn’t.
Except we now think she had. Cleo had made herself a nice little ground nest in the straw, but directly under the roosts. Bad idea, Cleo. You can get pooped on there!
Although we look in the various boxes and quasi-boxes in the coop every day to see if the hens laid in a random spot, Ron hadn’t seen any eggs in that little ground nest until several days ago when he saw those two. They were completely frozen. Not surprising given the cold snap. But what was really weird was that they had no shell. They had some sort of membrane to keep all the yolk and white in an oblong shape–and enough to freeze in an egg-like shape. But no shell. Like I said, weird!
This is what they looked like (they are still partly frozen here):
Because they had no shell, we couldn’t eat them. Particularly because they had some feathers and straw stuck in them!? For some reason, we put them in the fridge in a bowl, not sure what to do with them but not really wanting to waste them.
I asked Ron about feeding the raw eggs to the chickens. After all, the farmers down the street (Scruffy’s father’s farm) feed their chickens broken-up egg shells for additional calcium. Hens can have calcium deficiencies that can endanger their health, as calcium, if needed and inadequate in their diet, comes out of their bones to make egg shells. He broke up the two eggs along with some shells from the compost bin and dumped it into the snow outside the coop. The chickens proceeded to scarf up the messy, eggy ooze!
So, in addition to Cleo laying quasi-eggs that I called alien babies, apparently we have cannibal chickens who enjoy not only egg shells, but eggs. Yum, yum.