Today when i went out to the chicken coop to collect eggs, i found this beautiful little nugget. The very first egg a chicken has laid. It’s like a gift. A very precious, tiny gift. Like when you are walking along the path and find a robin’s egg, shell cracked, and look above you to see if you can spot the nest way up above you.
Check out these facts about chickens and eggs:
- A female chick is born with thousands of tiny ova, which are undeveloped yolks. Once she reaches maturity, an ovum will be released into a canal called the oviduct and begin its journey of development.
- At any given time a productive hen will have eggs of several stages within her reproductive system. The eggs most recently discharged from the ovary are just tiny yolks, and the eggs farther down the oviduct are progressively larger and more developed.
- From the time an ovum leaves the ovary, it takes approximately 25 hours for the egg to reach the vent for laying. During that time period, the yolk will grow larger while being surrounded by albumen (egg white), wrapped in a membrane, and encased in a shell. Pigment is deposited on the shell as the last step of the egg production process.
- If sperm is present, the yolk will be fertilized before the albumen is deposited.
- As a chick embryo develops in a fertilized egg, the yolk provides nourishment and the albumen cushions the embryo.
- Although a hen has only one exterior opening (the cloaca or vent) for egg laying and elimination, eggs are not contaminated during the laying process. Two separate channels, the oviduct and the large intestine, open into the cloaca. As the egg nears the end of the oviduct, the intestinal opening is temporarily blocked off. The egg passes through the cloaca without contact with waste matter.
- The typical interval between eggs laid is about 25 hours, so a hen that lays an egg every day will lay a bit later each day.
- Hens don’t usually lay eggs in the dark, so once a hen’s laying cycle reaches dusk time, she will usually not lay till the following morning.
No doubt they make so much noise when they are laying eggs! I’m so thankful for the fresh eggs that we are provided with from our chickens. A great animal to start with if you are interested in getting into livestock!