Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

The First Egg Is Here… I Think!

Are your first eggs looking a little small? Be ye not dismayed.

Close-up of a small chicken egg being held between two fingers

Photo: neonzu1

Little eggs might not fill you up, but they're still tasty!

If you got your chicks in the late spring, your young pullets (female chickens under a year old) should have just laid their first eggs. It’s a pretty exciting thing, especially if you are new to chickens.

Underwhelmed

But to the first-time chicken owner, it also be somewhat dismaying to see how small that first egg is. I’ve talked to a number of disappointed people who thought their chickens would provide them large eggs to crack open in a hot skillet every morning.

But fear not! The first eggs laid by pullets often are smaller than they will be later on. Early eggs also can have softer shells. I’ve found many eggs that were actually pliable when I picked them up.

Typically, as young pullets continue to grow, so will the size of her eggs. Usually eggs will reach full-size by the time hens reach their second laying season (after molting).

Patience, Patience

While you wait for eggs to get bigger, make sure your pullet is getting a quality layer feed with adequate calcium to make shells strong. If you are feeding a layer feed with the right vitamins and minerals, you don’t really need to offer extra supplementation, but some people do like to offer crushed oyster shells to their hens for additional calcium.

Remember, though, you shouldn’t be feeding your pullets oyster shell or layer feed that contains calcium until they have begun laying.

In the meantime, enjoy those first eggs from your young pullets. It’s just the beginning of a wonderful relationship!

Read More:

  • Rent-A-Chicken: For The Birds Or Egg-cellent? (Earth Eats)
  • To Brood, Or Not To Brood? (Earth Eats)
Jana Wilson

Jana Wilson lives on 20 acres just outside of Bloomington, IN and writes her blog, The Armchair Homesteader. In addition to the chickens, she has ducks and a border collie named Winnie who helps her with her various efforts at becoming more self-sufficient.

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