You might recall that one of last year's hatchlings, Teeny, is a runt who required assistance getting out of the shell. I was told not to expect too much of little Teeny, and was amazed as he/she continued to live even as several other chicks lost their lives due to picking. Why they didn't pick on the runt I have no idea.
While Teeny's half-sisters, also Black Sex Link x Black Australorp crosses, grew to the size of their mothers, Teeny only grew a little and then stopped, ending up the size of my three petite Easter Egger hens. Teeny has battled chicken lice and has a couple of featherless spots where the other hens are unaffected. Teeny's just a little different than everyone else.
I had no idea what Teeny's sex was until a couple of weeks ago when I saw the rooster breeding her. :) "All well and good," I thought, "but she probably won't lay any eggs, and if she does, it'll be a peewee." Teeny found her voice, though, and began clucking and singing (or whatever you'd call it) like her half-sisters, and one day, hearing a loud "I'm-laying-an-egg!" call and seeing her and one other hen missing from the free ranging group in the paddock, I wondered if it could be Teeny.
Sure enough, I was delighted to find Teeny sitting in the top nest box this morning when I opened the coop door. I usually only find two eggs in that nest box, one brown and one green. Teeny, having hatched from a brown egg, couldn't lay a green egg. Was it possible she was responsible for that brown egg? I went back inside and had a cup of coffee, then put my muddy boots back on to check. In the nest was a VERY LARGE pinkish-brown egg! Wow!
I know five of my six brown egg layers are laying because I have collected five slightly different looking brown eggs in a day, so I whisked Teeny's egg inside, pulled the cartons of previous days' eggs out of the fridge, and did a quick comparison. Teeny doesn't egg isn't the largest, but comes in a fairly close second! I can't believe such a large egg comes out of such a little body, but Teeny has earned my new-found respect!
Teeny's egg, third from the left.