It’s a fine morning, and you’re excitedly walking to your chicken coop to check out their chook’s newly laid eggs.
But when you opened the nest box, there was nothing but a teeny-tiny egg. And the craziest thing is when you cracked it open, there was no yolk inside!
You were awestruck by the sight of such a tiny fart egg with no yolk, but at the same time, you’re concerned about your chicken’s health and well-being.
So what’s the science behind fart eggs? Is it something to be worried about?
In this article, we’ll reveal:
- why and how fart eggs are developed
- where it got its name
- and how does it affect your poultry bird
Whether you’ve had a fart egg before or it’s your first time witnessing this strange anomaly, you’ll surely benefit from this.
So, What is a Fart Egg?
Fart eggs are, simply put, miniature eggs that are just a fraction of a normal chicken egg.
It’s also known as “cock eggs,” “witch eggs,” “diminutive eggs”, “dwarf eggs”, and “wind eggs”.
But perhaps the prettiest moniker these eggs have ever had is fairy egg which is appropriate because they are as tiny as fairies in movies.
They can either be an egg with no yolk, just an egg yolk, or a miniature egg.
Yes, each fart or chicken fairy egg is different.
It results from a glitch in the chicken’s reproductive system and cycle.
Sometimes, new hens produce fart eggs in their first laying season.
But this anomaly can also happen when they start laying again after having some time off during the winter season.
The Color, Size, and Shape of Fart Egg
Fairy eggs vary in color, size, and shape.
Some can be as tiny as a grape or quail egg, which is about 1/3 of a normal chicken egg’s size.
But others can be as big as a ping pong ball.
And they’re usually rounder than normal eggs.
However, since they’re smaller and there’s less eggshell surface area that the pigment must cover, fart eggs often look more vibrant than normal eggs.
Furthermore, these fairy eggs get more concentrated pigment because they stay longer in the hen’s shell gland pouch, and they have a slower journey down to the oviduct.
Why Are They Called Fart Eggs?
The many names of these eggs are derived from different myths about their origin.
As for the name “fart egg”, this name was given to yolkless eggs because people believed that these were a product of chicken flatulence.
However, other myths are more dramatic than that.
Superstitions About Fart Eggs
Back then, people called fart eggs as cock eggs since they didn’t have a yolk.
Many people believed that fart eggs or malformed eggs were the devil’s work and were laid by roosters.
According to old-tale stories, toads or serpents incubate the rooster or cocks’ eggs, and a winged beast named Cockatrice will emerge.
This creature is said to have the head of a rooster and the body of a serpent.
And you need to get rid of it by throwing it over the house’s roof without hitting it.
But that’s just a tale.
You don’t have to waste such precious tiny eggs because you can actually make use of it despite not having yolk.
Ob the other end of the spectrum, others believe that fairies left behind these eggs, hence the name “fairy eggs”.
The Real Process of Egg Production
The process begins with the development of yolk or ova.
After completing that stage, the yolk will then go down the oviduct, where it will be enclosed by protective egg white, also known as albumen.
Then the yolk, along with its albumen, will find its way through the reproductive track until it reaches the chicken’s uterus.
It’s where the eggshell finally forms and covers the protective coating to protect it from bacteria.
What Causes a Fart Egg?
Fart eggs occur in both young, new laying hens and adults.
And there are many factors that could affect their reproductive cycle and causes fart eggs.
The most common culprit of a fart egg anomaly is stress.
According to the Ohio State University, egg formation takes 25 hours, and the chicken’s reproductive system is extremely sensitive to sudden environmental changes and stress.
And when the bird is under stress, it may either slow down or speed up its egg development.
There will be a delay in the release of egg yolk despite the egg white or albumen forming normally.
When that occurs, the yolk won’t be released in its proper time, and the shell will form only around the whites.
Thus causing the anomaly called yolkless fart or fairy eggs.
Extreme temperature or weather changes can also cause a hen to develop and lay fart eggs.
But your hen should be able to get back to its regular laying routine and performance when the weather gets back to normal.
The young or immature hens’ reproductive cycle is still developing.
So, they’re still adjusting to the process of laying and ovulating.
Furthermore, they’re more prone to stress.
That’s why they are at a high risk of developing fart eggs.
However, old hens might also lay tiny-teeny eggs occasionally when their hormones decline and transition out of their prime.
Another possible cause of the development of fart eggs is a lack of essential nutrients for laying hens.
That’s why it’s essential to supplement their feed with calcium and other nutrients vital for egg production.
Aside from those factors, other disturbances to adult hens’ reproductive cycles, like injuries, flock integration changes in their chicken feed, and pecking order, can affect their eggs.
So when your hens are laying, you must ensure they’re healthy and in a comfortable environment.
It’s best to avoid introducing new members to the flock and changing their feed.
If you really need to switch to a different feed, introduce the new feed slowly and gradually.
Can You Eat Fart Eggs?
Definitely yes! Fart eggs are edible despite having no yolk in them.
It actually seems like a bite-sized version of chicken eggs.
But the downside is these yolkless eggs are less nutritious than ordinary and normal chicken eggs that contain protein-rich yolks.
They can’t compete with quail eggs, too, because even if they’re a little bigger than the latter, they have no yolks.
But is it something you should worry about?
Is Fart Egg Harmful to The Hen?
If your hen produces one or two fart eggs, don’t panic!
There’s no need to worry because it’s not harmful to your chicken.
It also doesn’t mean that your hen has an underlying health issue.
Consider this by-product as a normal part of their reproductive process, and it happens to all chickens, whether young or old.
How to Care for Laying Hens
We can’t control our laying hens’ reproductive cycle, but we can help minimize the occurrence of fairy eggs.
Here are some care tips to boost your birds’ egg production and minimize the development of fart eggs.
1. Provide a Nutritionally-Balanced Diet
One of the best ways to optimize your chicken’s health and reduce the chances of having fairy chicken egg is by providing the best-quality chicken feed that meets its nutritional requirements.
You can give your birds some corn, mealworms, and vegetable scraps, but they don’t have everything your laying hen needs.
If you want to DIY your poultry feed, here’s the formula we can recommend:
- 30% Corn — 6 lbs.
- 30% Wheat — 6 lbs.
- 20% Peas — 4 lbs.
- 10% Oats — 2 lbs.
- 10% Fish Meal — 2 lbs.
You can also add these ingredients to boost their health further.
- 2% Poultry Nuti-balancer — 0.4 pounds
- Free choice Kelp & Aragonite
However, each chicken breed has different nutritional needs, so it’s best to visit your vet to ask for recommendations in formulating a DIY chicken feed.
2. Add Calcium Supplements
Calcium is vital for laying hen’s bone, skeletal development, and eggshell creation.
It’s worth noting that eggshells are 95% calcium, so it’s natural when a hen’s own calcium depletes over time.
So if your chickens need a calcium boost, give them crushed oyster shells.
Other common sources of calcium for chickens are aragonite or feeding limestone, meat and bone meal, crab meal, kelp, and cultured yeast.
And if your chicken’s diet was mainly grain, you must add other mineral supplements that contain phosphorus skeleton maintenance and better egg production.
3. Build a Clean, Stress-Free Home
To avoid stressing your birds out, they must have enough space in the coop, and it must be clean and well-ventilated.
Chickens can get messy, though.
The rule of thumb is to provide 4 square feet of coop space per bird.
4. Provide Plenty of Water
Besides feed, chickens also need access to clean, fresh water to stay healthy.
It helps regulate their body temperature, digest their food, and eliminate their body wastes.
But make sure to change the water daily and clean the water feeder throughout the day.
5. Keep Them Free From Parasites
Parasites like mites love living off of chickens, which can cause major health issues in these poultry birds.
These tiny mites that look like red-brown spots will feed on your chicken’s blood and cause changes in appetite, weight loss, feather pulling, bald spots, redness or scabs, and decreased egg production.
6. Keep Their Environment Secure and Stress-Free
As said earlier, stress is one of the common reasons for fart egg development and decreased egg production.
So, you must ensure no predator can enter your laying hen’s home and nesting place.
Make sure their pen is enclosed and secured with wires, and for further security, set up a fence around your chicken’s coop.
7. Let Them Free-Range
Active foragers are typically happier and healthier and can result in better egg production.
So let your bird have enough free-ranging time before their laying season.
If you’re worried about them wreaking havoc in your garden or falling victim to their predator’s hands or free-ranging is prohibited in your neighborhood, don’t worry. There’s a solution to that!
Build a chicken run that can give your birds enough space to run and forage but prevents them from wandering in your entire yard or garden.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fart Egg
What is the inside of a fart egg?
A fart egg could contain either just the whites or albumen, which is the yolkless one, only the yolk, or both the white and the yolk.
Old and immature hens produce it, and they’re so tiny that they can be mistaken as a quail egg.
How rare is a fart egg?
Fart eggs or fairy eggs are actually common, especially among young hens, because they are still adapting to their reproductive tract.
But when they get the hang of it, they shall be able to lay normal eggs.
Do fart eggs have yolks?
Typically, fart eggs don’t have yolk, but others do have a tiny yolk, while others have a yolk proportional to the albumen.
Each fart egg varies from one another.
So, you’ll only know what’s inside when you open it.
Can you hatch a fairy egg?
You can try to incubate a fairy egg to help them hatch, but since most fairy eggs have no yolk, they’re likely not fertilized.
And even if there’s a yolk present, it may still not be enough to grow a chick inside it.
Final Thoughts About Fart Egg
Fart eggs or yolkless fairy eggs are adorable, and there’s no need to worry about your hens when this anomaly happens.
You can still eat it or use it as a decor or craft project.
Just place it on a small bowl and put it on the windowsill above the kitchen sink, and it’s good to go!
However, if you’re raising chickens for eggs and many of your hens lay fart eggs, and it becomes constant (it rarely happens, though), you must consult your vet immediately.