We're having a bit of a debate here at the ol' Backroads homestead.
The Pony gathers eggs from our free-range chickens every evening. They are not so much free-range chickens as chickens who fly out of the pen because Hick built it out of two dog run fences hooked together, with no ceiling. And since he didn't clip their wings and they come and go at will, he leaves the door open. Most of the hens will lay in the laying boxes inside the chicken coop. But a few of them squat and let one fly wherever the mood strikes them. I suppose we are fortunate that they don't roam the contiguous twenty acres, but confine their movements to the front and back yard.
Since school was out, we have hatched twenty-one chicks. Okay, a couple of broody hens get the credit. Hick catches one sitting, and stuffs a couple of days worth of eggs under her. Sixteen of these chicks have survived. Now they are growing up. To me, the oldest group appears about half grown. They have that awkward, gangly, teenage look about them. Another four are kindergarten size.
Here's the issue. For the last two weeks, The Pony has twice picked up a tiny egg from the nest where most of the hens lay. Here's a photo taken by Genius the family photographer.
According to Hick, the egg is small because the chicken is small. And as the little hen gets older, the eggs will get bigger. PUH LEASE! I have never heard such nonsense in my life! I don't profess to be a fowl maven. But if this is the case, why have we never seen this phenomenon even once over the past three years of harvesting our chicken eggs? Were the previous hens saving themselves until full maturity to lay their eggs? I think not. We've had leghorns laying white eggs, and silky-footed black hens laying brown eggs, and a banty here and there laying the small eggs. But never any tiny eggs. Unless you count those two times that Hick tried to pass off a leathery round reptile egg as belonging to his chicken harem.
Hick wanted to give the tiny egg to my mom when she dropped off The Pony yesterday afternoon. He said, "Tell your mom we've got something to help her cholesterol. Never mind that Mom's cholesterol is just fine, and Hick takes medication for his. Or that, perhaps, she would crack open this abomination and out would slither a snake. I voiced my opinion of this proposal.
"You are NOT giving that thing to my mom! You don't even know if it's a chicken egg!"
"It's a chicken egg. Stop being so dramatic."
"How do you know? Did you eat the other one?"
"No. But I cracked it open on the porch, and it looked like an egg."
Oh. Very well, then. Let's send it home with Mom to eat it. I don't think so. How many of you are well-versed in eggology? Do adolescent chickens lay little eggs that get bigger as the hen gets bigger? And if so, why is this the first time we've ever seen such a thing?
My inquiring mind needs to know. So I can push the point with Hick, or shut up and forget about it if he's right.