Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Before we had chickens, I went to the Heirloom Expo where I was introduced to all kinds of things - veggies, fruits, animals and... eggs. Up until then, I thought a brown egg was a brown egg. Until I saw these:

These gorgeous, dark, chocolate brown eggs. Oh My! Someday I would have the chickens that lay these eggs. Oh yes-siree! I took the photo with the name of the breed so I would be sure to remember them. Cuckoo Maran. Cuckoo Maran.

Fast forward to the chicken murders of 2012 and then the mysterious chicken death later on that year and we ended up with eight new chickens. And you can bet at least one of those was a Cuckoo Maran hen. Actually, Lola the rooster was supposed to be a hen, but alas, not only was he male, he was a mean male. He's no longer with us. 

But let me introduce you to Candy:

Candy, named for the chocolate brown colored eggs she was to lay, is our lovely Cuckoo Maran. We got her when she was just a little tike - about three months old. She came from the same place that James Dean, our rooster, came from. They were raised together and get along just fine. Candy is a consistent layer - everyday - and the first one out of the nesting box in the morning.

The problem with our lovely Candy is that not only are her eggs light tan, they are also misshapen and the shell is really thin. They always have creases in them. In the egg biz, these are known as 'flat eggs'. I've done everything I know to help strengthen her shell, but for whatever reason, this chicken won't/ can't transfer the calcium to her eggshells. Because of this abnormality, I don't want to sell them.

And of course, we don't want to hatch her eggs because we don't want to pass this odd trait onto the next generation.

The good thing about this is that we, the egg farmers, are guaranteed to have eggs instead of selling them all and having none. They are fine on the inside, wonderful in fact, but just really REALLY weird on the outside. Bumpy, odd colored, creased and swirled. Who ever knew that eggs could differ so much.

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