Every day when I trek up to the chicken coop to collect eggs, I chuckle and remind myself that it’s singular. Egg.
My Olive Egger, Gigi, provides a green egg almost every day. But Loretta, our Black Copper Marans, hasn’t laid an egg since last summer. And truthfully, it’s been almost two years that I’ve told friends that she’s on strike.
All that changed tonight when I reached into the nest box and felt something, not quite right. Just past Gigi’s egg, I spotted a brownish squishy ball. I grabbed both, and took a closer look at the brown one.
Was it a lash egg? I wondered.
If it was, this could mean bad news for Loretta. A lash egg actually is a misnomer. It’s not an egg at all, instead a mix of egg material and pus resulting from an inflammation of the oviduct. Not all chickens survive this.
I placed the brown “egg” on a plate, and cautiously inserted a knife. It easily slipped into the soft, rubbery shell. Almost instantly, egg white shot out. I exhaled a breath of relief. I cut a bit deeper, and the shell fell open, releasing the rest of the white along with a broken yolk.
My fiance Matt ordered a pizza to celebrate, while I ran up to a pet store to buy oyster shell to help fortify Loretta’s egg shell. My hope is that this supplement will strengthen the shells and help bring Loretta’s eggs back to their former chocolate brown glory.
The return of eggs is a huge victory for Loretta. A year ago she was bald on her belly and bottom, the victim of a bullying bird. Her body shut down from the abuse, as well; she had stopped giving eggs the year before. She briefly resumed laying once we rehomed the aggressive chicken. However, as soon as her feathers started growing back, she stopped laying again. That was last summer.
But now, Loretta is getting her groove back. She officially laid her first egg in close to a year. It may have been an ugly one, but it still counts.
I’m hoping it will only get better from here.