Late last fall we got 30 Barred Rock chicks to add to this year’s laying flock.

These birds have matured and are now in the Taj Mahal. Here you can see some of them out in the grass and at the feeders.

At around 4 1/2 to 6 months chickens will start laying eggs. At first the eggs will be small. Then sometimes they will be really large and have double yolks, though we also see that as they get older.

The two eggs on the top come from our current layers. You can see how they are a bit bigger than the other three eggs.

The lower three eggs are from the barred rocks. They would have normal yolk and white inside, but they are smaller than what a mature hen would lay.

The one in the middle bottom – That egg doesn’t have a hard shell. Eggs have two shells – hard outer shell and the soft inner shell. When you peel hard-boiled eggs, you might notice that there is a soft lining that you need to use a nail to grab and peel away from your egg. That is the soft inner shell.

Eggs with soft shells can happen because the chicken is immature and her body just hasn’t figured out how to put a shell around the egg. It can also happen because she doesn’t have enough calcium in her diet to produce hard shells. So we give our chickens free choice oyster shells that they can peck at to add to their calcium supply.

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