Lash Eggs, Fart Eggs and Generally Weird Eggs.

If you have chickens you’ve seen it. That misshapen, blobby, too big, too small, or just plain weird egg to come shooting out of one of your hens.  If you DON’T have chickens, you’re not going to believe what kind of eggs are edited out of your grocery store carton, lol! This is their story.

Eggs in various shades of brown and pale-olive in a wooden crate on a white background.

 

 

As someone who buys their eggs at the store, you’ve been protected your whole life from the oddities of eggs.  The weird, horrifying, amusing, and curious mistakes.  But let me tell you – you’re being protected from some pretty gross stuff.

As a backyard chicken owner, you may go out to your coop every morning and come back with a collection of perfectly normal eggs.

Then, one day, in front of you is an egg that looks like a Ripley’s Believe it or Not penis.

It happens. Welcome to the world of chicken keeping.

Lash eggs, Fart Eggs & Other Weird Eggs.

A pale beige misshapen form (lash egg) sitting on the blade of a paint scraper.

This in particular egg is our first weird egg.  

 

The Lash Egg

The lash egg sitting on a pile of straw.

Lash eggs are misshapen rubbery blobs.  The most horrifying part is they are indeed eggs.  Probably not ones you’d want to eat unless doing so would result in winning millions of dollars and being named sole Survivor.

Lash eggs often happen when a chicken is sick but can also be a sign that if they *are* sick, they’re getting better.  || Read my in depth post on lash eggs and see what’s INSIDE them. ||

  • There is zero chance you’ll ever find one of these in your grocery store carton of eggs.
  • NOT safe to eat.

The Fart Egg

Eggs stacked on top of each other on a rustic wooden crate against a white background. At the top of the stack is a fart (or fairy) egg.

Tiny Fart egg at top of stack.

Also known by the more Disney term, the Fairy Egg, these eggs happen when a hen first learns to lay. Although the Fairy egg at the top of this pile was my first ever Fairy Egg and it came from a seasoned hen. It was from Baby. The mean hen.

 

Karen Bertelsen's mean white chicken named Baby against a white background.

 

Fairy eggs typically only consist of the white part of the egg (the albumen) but mine had a yolk in it, which you’ll see in the next featured egg. 

  • Fart eggs are never sold by commercial producers, you won’t accidentally end up with one in a carton.  But if you WANT teeny tiny eggs, buy quail’s eggs. Fart eggs are about the same size.
  • Safe but ultimately not very filling to eat.

 

The Blood Spotted Egg

Two cracked eggs (one with the broken shell beside it) on a white background. The yolk of the egg in the foreground has two blood spots.

Chickens (particularly brown egg laying chickens) can work so hard to get that egg out of them that they burst a blood vessel. When this happens, the egg it’s forming at the time will pick up that burst blood vessel and there you have it – an egg with a blood spots.

Eggs can also have something called meat spots which show up on the white of the egg as opposed to the yolk.  Meat spots happen when the egg picks up tissue along the chicken’s oviduct. You can recognize them because they look more like a lump than the smooth look of a blood spot.

  • Chances are you won’t get these from store bought eggs, but the odd one does sneak into cartons. You’re more likely to have this problem in brown eggs because the dark shell of brown eggs are harder to detect abnormalities through.  Commercial producers “candle” their eggs to ensure customers don’t get visually assaulted with blood spotted eggs.  Candling eggs is just shining bright light through the eggshell so shadows can be seen inside of it. But the dark coloured shell of brown eggs makes seeing through the shell through candling more difficult than with a white egg. Brown egg layers are also more prone to laying eggs with blood spots than white egg layers.
  • Safe to eat. If it grosses you out (it grosses me out) just use a bit of shell to cut the offending portion of the egg out.

If you want to decrease your chances of getting an egg with blood or meal spots at the grocery store, buy white eggs.


Brown and white eggs are the same thing. There’s NO nutritional difference at all. The colour of the egg is just based on the colour of the chicken – brown chicken = brown egg.  White chicken = white egg. (actually it depends on their earlobe colour but generally that matches the colour of the hen)

 

 

Blotches, Speckles and Mends on Eggs.

 

Four eggs in a row on a white background. The left-most is a blotched egg, the next is a mended egg and the next two are speckled eggs.


A Quick Lesson in Egg Colour

Eggs are white.  All eggs start out their life inside the chicken as white.  It’s when the egg is rolling through the chickens oviduct that colour is painted onto it.

You can test whether this is true by paying attention to the inside of brown chicken egg when you crack it  open.  The outside of it is brown but the inside is white.

The only exception to this is the egg of the Ameraucana which lays blue eggs.  Their shell still starts out as white but they deposit their colour onto the egg early on. This gives the colour a chance to seep through the entire shell making the inside of it blue as well.


Egg Colour Abnormalities

BLOTCHES – Egg #1 

Some breeds paint the pigment onto their eggs just before they lay it.  When they lay it a “wet paint” sign beside it would be appropriate.  If you touch the egg immediately to collect it, a lot of the paint will come right off on your finger leaving a spot with no colour on the egg. (The egg underneath won’t be white usually because some of the colour dye immediately soaks into the shell.)

MENDS – Egg #2

Egg shells can break or be formed poorly during the calcification process (the process where the shell is being made). The hen mends the crack or hole in the shell before laying.

SPECKLES – Eggs #1 & #3 

Speckles on eggs are perfectly normal. It’s just extra deposits of calcium. It can also be caused by a defective shell gland.   If you’re LUCKY your grocery store eggs will have these beautiful speckles.

  • You’re unlikely to encounter any of these things other than speckles from commercially produced eggs.
  • All safe to eat.

Huge Egg.

Three eggs on a rustic wooden background. The topmost is a huge pale-green egg, the middle is a small light-blue egg and the bottom is a regular-size speckled brown egg.

A large grocery store egg normally weighs 56 grams.  A double yolker can weigh 100 grams!  But just because the egg is huge doesn’t mean it’s a double yolker. The odd time a hen will just lay an insanely huge egg that has the largest yolk you’ve ever seen.  In 2016 my Black Copper Marans laid a whopping 96 gram single yolked egg. || See the biggest yolk you’ve ever seen here in my post on it! ||

  • These kind of HUGE eggs don’t make it into grocery store cartons.  Partly because they literally will not fit in a carton. The lid won’t shut!  But you will the odd time get a double yolker!
  • Safe to eat.

 

Egg With No Shell.

An egg with no shell on a butcher-block counter. The yellow yolk of the egg can be seen through the soft, white membrane.

An egg with no shell is exactly what it sounds like. You might think that would mean a chicken would just lay a yolk and egg, but the yolk and egg are contained within a thin membrane. The shell is formed over that.  If for some reason the chicken doesn’t form a shell the egg will come out with just the membrane.

An egg with no shell feels like a squishy stress ball.  The reason it has no shell could be that the chicken was scared or stressed when they were about to form the shell, lack of calcium or just old age.

  • Yeah. Zero chance of an egg farmer letting one of these into the carton mix.
  • Safe to eat! But because it has no shell it will spoil faster and the inside will evaporate more quickly.

O.K. maybe zero chance of you getting one of these is an exaggeration. Mistakes ALWAYS happen. 

So.  Tell me, because I’m curious.  Have you ever found any of these things in your grocery store bought carton of eggs?  And more importantly … did you eat it?

 

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If you buy your eggs at the grocery store you\'re being protected from some of the craziest looking eggs! But as a backyard chicken owner you come across some amusing and horrifying eggs! And here they are ... #backyardchickens #eggs #homesteading

49 Comments

  1. Laura Bee says:

    Never had a problem with grocery store eggs that I can remember, but I had a bad experience when I was young. We had chickens and I suppose one had hidden an egg in the nest box. It was uncovered and gathered up and I was the lucky one to crack a half developed chick into the fry pan. Thank goodness it was not alive anymore. Scarred for life but eventually started eating eggs again.

  2. Lisa Rose says:

    The best way to test an egg’s freshen without offending your nose is to fill a glass measuring cup with water. If the egg sinks, then it wouldn’t stink. If it floats, the smell will make you choke.

  3. Dana Studer says:

    I’ve only gotten 2 bloody eggs in my life. That was about 10 yrs ago and both were in the same carton of white eggs from Walmart.
    A place called Rose Acre Farms in southern Indiana sold eggs at The Wholesale Club. That was 30 yrs ago and before they became Sam’s Club, and then Costco. There were always several double yolkers in each carton. It became so common that Mom didn’t call everyone into the kitchen to see them.

  4. Robert says:

    The color abnormalities descriptions bring such whimsical images to my mind.
    I do seem to get a lot of meat spots on the eggs I buy so I never thought of them as abnormalities (if they are indeed meat spots and not something else) and maybe once or twice a blood spot that I probably did throw out

  5. Suzzett says:

    I only have access to store bought eggs and used to buy brown because they look special(I won’t anymore). About 2 weeks ago I bought jumbos for the first time and had my first ever double yolk! I was so excited, I took pictures, sent them to everyone I know and named it. Imagine my joy when the carton had a total of 3 double yolks. I’m now committed to buying only jumbo white eggs. My current carton had 3 and I still have 5 left to open. It’s like Christmas everyday!

  6. Elle says:

    Buy eggs when I can from someone who raises chickens for eggs. Some are brown, others blue, sometimes an olive one as well as white. Got my first bad egg ever. Cracked it into the hot pan. Smell! Oh my! Looks?? Even worse. Did not eat any eggs that day for breakfast. I swear the pan still smells a bit like that bad egg and it has been hard to eat an egg since that happened a week ago.

  7. Carol O says:

    Fortunately, my girls have never laid a lash egg. Those are ugly and wicked looking and would freak me out. I have gotten a few fart eggs over the years, and last week a gigando nearly 4 oz. (100 gm.). Haven’t opened it yet so don’t know if it’s a double yoker. One of the girls (maybe my Aracauna who had been sick earlier last month and hasn’t laid since) laid a shell-less egg, but mine is smoother than the picture you have. I can remember, as a kid, someone selling cartons of these eggs from their roadside stand. I often get eggs with ‘warts’ of shell, usually on the end of the egg. Blood spots are no big deal. I don’t know why some people are so freaked out by eggs and other food. But you never know what you’re going to find in the nest.

  8. Vikki says:

    Gack!!! I had no idea. I bought eggs from a roadside stand one time–I don’t know what they were feeding those chickens, but it was bad. However, the crows did like those eggs (the cannibals!).

  9. Lesley says:

    Well, I was planning on having soft boiled eggs for supper but now I’m … really not.

    Against my better judgement I clicked, shuddering with anticipatory horror, on the link for your in-depth post on what’s inside lash eggs but Safari couldn’t open the page. Saved by the goddess of the internet!

  10. Lucinda Dangles says:

    I eat 2 eggs every day and usually jumbo size of I can get them. Quite often I will get a lot of double yokers. I have several times gotten a whole dozen of double homers from one certain store. Probably from the same farm. Since last Easter most of the stores in my area quit selling Jumbo size. I have found baking with Jumbo eggs puts off the recipe so I add liquids a little less. Same like extra large size eggs. Thank you for the egg lesson.

  11. Mary W says:

    White grocery store eggs – I do get blood spots and have always thrown them away – still will since YUK – what is that white cord-y looking blob that I get many times – double YUK and into the compost it goes.

    • susan hontalas says:

      That white cord is called the chaleaza (various spellings). It holds the yolk to the middle of the egg. When you can see it, it means the egg is very fresh. As the egg ages, it disappears. Unfortunately, if you have been throwing it away you are tossing the freshest eggs.

  12. BUnguin says:

    I have had a double egg – a HUGE egg, with another whole egg inside the huge egg. That was a weird one and in the 10 years I had chix – the only time I saw that.

  13. Cottontailfarm says:

    You neglected to mention the rare “testicle egg”. One of my older hens laid one this week. It is huge, wrinkly and looks just like…. um… a testicle. It’s so gross I can’t stop looking at it.

  14. Eileen says:

    My mom wouldn’t buy organic eggs for years because one of the first times she did (from a grocery store!) she cracked one open and found a chick….

  15. John says:

    Not had any of these in grocery store eggs, but did have a whopper golden sex-linked egg a few years back (was a double yolk).

  16. Kari In Dallas says:

    I love weird science experiment stuff like this. I have an egg allergy, so keeping chickens, though enticing, wouldn’t be practical for me. I rarely use eggs and remember the horror of my grandmother picking one out for fried chicken on Sundays. But I will live my chicken-loving-self vicariously through you with your blocked oviducts, weird eggs and mean hens. Just don’t walk barefoot through the hen house, that shit never comes off. Learned that lesson the hard way.

  17. Jack Ledger says:

    I am not sure if you have ever addressed this but on the show “Marketplace” they took a sample of brown, white, organic, and other store sold eggs and analyzed them in a lab. The results revealed that there was zero difference, nutritionally speaking, in any of the eggs and so spending that extra buck thinking you are getting a healthier egg was money misspent.

  18. Von says:

    I occasionally will get an egg with blood specks, even from the supermarket, but more often from my friend who keeps chooks. I just scoop out the bloody bits and use the egg as usual.

    If the supermarket eggs have no variations, I figure the chooks are not really free range.

    I also will sometimes find a nipple on the fat of pork belly. That’s not a problem, either, although I do thank the pig then, because I’m reminded that lovely hunk of meat came from a living thing.

  19. SuzNKton says:

    All the bloodshot eggs that I have thrown out over the years because “that is a fertilized egg and embryo “!
    Alberta eggs are ginormous! I have had a dozen eggs be all double yokes. I also made an angelfood cake that called for a dozen eggs or _____weight and I only had to use 6 eggs for weight.

  20. Lesley on the Mountain says:

    I’m currently on holiday in the UK and was so perplexed upon walking into a grocery store and finding no eggs! The yolk (har har) is on us North Americans; the eggs are sold on normal shelves, not refrigerated! So what are we doing to our chickens in North America to NEED refrigeration?! Also, anything with dairy here tastes A-MMMAAAAZING! Omg the chocolate!

    • Kristina says:

      We wash our eggs before they go to market in the US, which washes the coating away. Without the bloom on the outside, the egg will spoil without refrigeration. This isn’t done in the U.K. Plus, you also may have noticed this about the U.K.: it tends to be pretty universally cool most of the time. Not so in much of the US.

    • Karen says:

      North American egg producers are forced by government regulations to wash their eggs for sanitation reasons. This however, washes off the natural “bloom” on the egg which in term makes it much easier for bacteria to get through the egg. Therefore they need to be refrigerated after washing. It’s really stupid. Almost nowhere else in the world does it like we do. If an egg hasn’t been washed, it does NOT need to be refrigerated and will last for weeks and weeks on the counter. ~ karen!

  21. Eileen Anderson says:

    My blue Americana Eva regularly lays extra large blue eggs that barely fit in a carton. They’re huge! But the weirdest egg she laid was perfectly formed and then had a big blob of egg shell on one end. The rarest of rare, a blue unicorn egg!🦄🥚🐓🤪🥰

  22. Patty Hane says:

    Years ago I cracked a store bought egg in my bowl of cake mix contents and it was rotten. So, now I always crack my eggs in a small bowl first.

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Yep, that was always my mother’s rule. You will only ever do that once! And holey moley do they ever stink eh?!

    • Elaine says:

      Gee, I’ve never had that happen but from now on, I’ll crack them in a separate bowl first! Thanks for that info ……. I think! 🤢

  23. Glenda says:

    Very interesting. I don’t buy eggs from a store anymore. I don’t believe it when they say free range. I only get eggs from a trusted local farm where I know the chickens are treated well.

    • Cathy Reeves says:

      Now that we’re in a small town in Az, I’m stuck with grocery eggs. And, my Fella doesn’t like the XL or jumbo ones😳! (Oh the things you learn when you decide to cohabitate.) But, the local farmers mkt is back up and running on Wednesday’s so I get my fix of farm eggs with the glorious and delicious orangey-gold yolks!
      Now I can face the wild tarantula climbing the wall…

  24. Dennis says:

    A few times I have come across a larger egg that when cracked open had the yolk and white plus another small completely formed egg inside the larger one. The small egg when cracked open was also completely normal looking except smaller. How does this happen??

  25. Evalyn Lemon says:

    A few years ago, our local grocery had a sale on jumbo size eggs – 99 cents a dozen. Each and every egg was a double yolk. I spoke to several people who bought the sale eggs and each person reported a dozen double-yolked eggs.

    • PMMK says:

      Last time I bought sale eggs from the grocer every single one of them tasted like day-old boiled cabbage. I’m sticking with eggs from a local farmer. The hens roam the yard and eat lots of bugs, weeds and detritus from the garden. They are so fresh that when I call to see if I can come and buy some, the youngest boy will ask if I can wait a couple of hours to give him a chance to round up a couple of dozen for me. I know these eggs cost more and I’m spoiled but they are worth every single penny I pay for them. Even better than raising my own.

  26. Tina says:

    I have found all of the above, even a double egg, one egg inside another. And I found a REALLY BIG egg with 3 yolks. I prefer to get my eggs from people down the road who sell (among others) boxes of jumbos. They almost always have double Yorkers. I grew up on a “gentleman’s farm”, as my mother called it. Chickens and eggs were my niche. I think that’s because I was the only one small enough to get under the coop to clean it out.

    • Karen says:

      So those eggs are from a farmer as opposed to a grocery store? By the way I’m going to start calling my house a Gentleman’s farm. Or a Gentlewoman’s farm. Something like that, lol. ~ karen!

      • Lush says:

        Or maybe Lady Garden?? :))) Lady Farm??

      • Tina says:

        My mother was born and raised on a “working farm” in Iowa. I was always lead to believe that a working farm was one that was the sole income producer. We had a “gentleman’s farm” because it wasn’t full-time employment. My dad was a school teacher. We had 16 acres and grew cows for dairy and later on eating. My baby brother was in charge of the pigs. Mrs. Ormsby was his sow and every year she had a nice litter that my brother raised and sold at the county or state fair. Most years he was the champion pig guy. I remember when we’d get off the bus every day, his pigs would run down the driveway to meet him, squealing and oinking and then follow him up the hill like dogs. I always had a couple of horses but one of them was Dad’s special. He (the horse, not dad) had been starved so he was only a pasture ornament, not for riding. He’d follow Dad around and when Dad wasn’t paying enough attention to him, he’d pull Dad’s hat off and play keep away. And we had a crap-ton of chickens. Every Labor Day weekend, my grandmother would come down to cull the chickens. She’d wring necks for a while, until her arm got tired and them she’d pick up her hatchet. We’d kill, clean and freeze 75-100 chickens, enough to last the year. And Mom had 2 acres in gardens. She loved to garden and between her garden and Sauvie Island, we’d put up (can or freeze) enough to last us the entire year. We’d go to the train tracks every time grain was transferred and scoop up the overflow to take home for the pigs. The only things I can remember buying at the store was sugar and flour, salt and pepper and oranges at Xmas time. LOL, one time my mother decided we could make our own salt, since we lived by the Pacific Ocean so we went to the beach and built a fire and hung a big, black kettle. We worked ALL DAY boiling water for salt. She quickly decided we could buy our salt. Anyway, that was my life.

  27. Wendy says:

    We’re lucky enough to have a supplier of organic Hutterite eggs in our neighbourhood. Often get ones with blood spots. Don’t care, love the orange yolks and they’re delicious!

  28. Jani Wolfe says:

    When I was little and would help my mom baking using eggs she would always tell me to crack it in a saucer in case it was a bloody egg. I headed her advice and have come across a bloody egg here and there. I always threw it away.

    • LYNNE BALLERSTEDT says:

      My mom did this too! I’ve gotten away from the practice, as I’ve so rarely found a blood speck, but I think about my “risky” behavior every time I crack an egg into a skillet or a cake.

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