Saw this story forwarded from the Daily Mirror in Sri Lanka…it is amazing!!
In a zoological anomaly, a hen in Sri Lanka has given birth to a chick without an egg.
Instead of passing out of the hen’s body and being incubated outside, the egg was incubated in the hen for 21 days and then hatched inside the hen. The chick is fully formed and healthy, although the mother has died.
PR Yapa, the chief veterinary officer of Welimada, where it took place, said he had never seen anything like it before. When examining the hen’s carcass he found that the fertilised egg had developed within the hen’s reproductive system, but stayed inside the hen’s body until it hatched.
A post-mortem of the hen concluded that it died of internal wounds.
I have seen a lot of funky looking eggs, but have never even heard of a chick being born outside of an egg. Eggs come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours naturally.
Once you work in the abnormal eggs, the range is extensive. I was in a barn today where many of the brown eggs had “targets” on them….perfectly round white rings around a dark circle on the side of the egg. I didn’t have a camera with me though….figures.
I’ve seen double-yolked eggs, triple-yolked eggs, shell-less eggs, round eggs, double-shelled eggs, and yolk-less eggs.
The double- and triple-yolked eggs are simply the avian version of twins and triplets, and are not that remarkable. Double shelled eggs are odd (and rare), since the egg has to form in the shell gland, then be moved back up the reproductive tract to the magnum, where new membranes are added, then new shell is deposited as the egg re-descends through the shell gland.
These abnormal eggs are interesting, but should cause no concern to a flock owner. There are eggs that are
symptoms of problems, and recognizing them will help you diagnose problems with your flock early enough to treat them effectively. Soft shelled eggs and slab-sided eggs are symptoms of calcium deficiency in a hen. Pimpled eggs can also be a sign of low calcium, if the shell is thin (pimpled eggs can be of 2
types…1) the shell is normal thickness, with extra calcium causing raised nodules on the surface, or 2) thin shells with small areas of normal-thickness shells, that then seem to be raised areas).
Slab sided eggs occur when an egg is held inside the bird for a day, and the next day’s egg comes down the tract, and lies against the formed egg that is in the way. The new egg is a soft-shelled egg and deformable….it sits against the old egg as the shell is deposited on it….thus the flat side on the egg, and the round area of wrinkles around the flat side. If you see these types of eggs in your nests, you should immediately assess the amount of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D that is available to the hens, since hypocalcemia can result in weakness, sickness and death in a hen.
Another egg that should alert you to possible problems is a wrinkled egg. It is usually a sign of an infection of some type. Viral infections such as infectious bronchitis, egg drop syndrome and avian influenza can cause these types of eggs, but so can other illnesses that cause the hen to be fevered and dehydrated. Imagine a yolk that gets covered by membranes in the magnum, but does not get its share of protein and water added to it while travelling through the
infundibulum….a partly full bag of water will result. Once the calcium is added, the egg will stay wrinkled until it is laid. A wrinkled egg is almost always a sign of illness. Check that your hen is not wounded (wound infections can cause wrinkled eggs too), or showing any signs of illness. Look carefully, because hens are often very stoic.
It is, of course, important to know what is normal for your breed and type of hen. Some hens lay dark eggs consistently, and light eggs may be a sign of problems….however some hens lay light brown eggs all the time. A change is usually worth looking into….often subtle changes in egg color or texture can be the earliest sign you will get that your hens are missing something in their diet, or are facing a health problem.
Mike the Chicken Vet