Hen's last egg

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Julie_A, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. Julie_A

    Julie_A Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Brewton, Ala.
    I have a hen who looks OLD, really OLD. Bought her as an adult earlier this year.

    If memory serves, don't hens often lay a tiny, tiny egg as their last egg?

    I seem to remember a tiny egg at my Grandpa Lee's house as a kid and being told they were a hen's "last egg."

    Thoughts? [​IMG]
  2. Wanda

    Wanda Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 7, 2008
    I think it is a common thing with their first egg, never heard that about the last egg.

  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Quote:I don't know about that, but hens of all ages occasionally have a hiccup in the system and lay tiny yolkless eggs called fairy, wind, or fart eggs. If she's been laying regularly or even somewhat regularly given the season I wouldn't worry about it.

    ETA: Your grandpa probably meant that an unproductive hen wouldn't be around his farm much longer, not that it was the last egg she was capable of laying. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  4. Julie_A

    Julie_A Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Brewton, Ala.
    If I'm remembering right, it was a tiny egg with a tiny yolk. He didn't have bantams, so I don't know. Wish he was alive to ask. He was my everything. Miss him so much...

    Back when I was a reporter, I published this column in his memory...

    When I was a kid, the book “All I Really need to Know, I learned in Kindergarten” became extremely popular. Although I agree with many of the points made in the book, I would have to say that all I really need to know, I learned feeding cows with my grandpa, Alvin Lee.

    My grandfather had about 10 head of cattle and several chickens. He farmed purely out of enjoyment. He sold eggs as well as sweet milk, buttermilk and butter. Growing up next door, my brother, Jesse, I and were very involved in activities at his farm at a young age. As small children, we were thrilled to scatter the corn for chickens, gather the eggs and open the gate to the pasture so that Grandpa could pull his long-wheel base Chevy inside. We learned so much from my grandpa in the time that he was with us. He left a huge void in our family when he died from cancer in 1992. I was 15 years old.

    In the happy years before, though, our days hinged on that special time every afternoon that we spent with our grandpa. During that time, I discovered many life lessons that made me what I am today. With space limited, I am including just a few below.

    First off, always be on time. My grandpa did not care what time Sesame Street was over. If I wanted to go with him to feed cows, I had to be at his house at 3:30 p.m., sharp. My mother used to joke with him that his cows didn’t wear wristwatches. He would always counter that the cows knew when it was time to be fed and that’s when he was going to do it. If I was late, I got left, plain and simple. I shed plenty of tears, sitting at the house on the back porch waiting for him to come back. I realized, at a young age that I couldn’t blame anyone but myself for being left behind. I learned to be where I needed to be, when I needed to be there, if not earlier.

    Grandpa taught us the value of hard work. I remember getting paid 10 cent a week to help feed cows. I collected that shiny dime with pride and saved them to buy a bottle of soap bubbles or maybe even a jump rope. I also remember, greedy little me, asking Grandpa for a five-cent raise. I remember telling him that I needed 15 cent per week. He gave it to me, too. It was the easiest raise I ever got.

    An important lesson I mastered early on was to watch out for the bull. Though they changed every couple of years, their attitudes didn’t. Usually, the bull was overbearing and would throw his weight around if not treated with respect. In life, we come across “bulls” that we must handle with care. They are not always bigger than us, but we must still respect the power that they carry with their “weight.”

    Another lesson I took to heart was that we should be patient with the little calves and old cows. Every year, when the new calves were born, we had to take special care that the babies made it out of the pen each evening with their mother into the pasture. Let me tell you, this was no simple task. First of all, we often had to contend with a very protective mother who didn’t understand that we just wanted to help. We had to drive the little one, who didn’t see the danger in running through a barbed wire fence, down the fence row and through the gate to where she belonged. This had to be done with care because if you rushed the calf, she would turn straight into the fence and get cut. We also had to contend with old cows. Many afternoons, on the road to the feed trough, an old cow would get right in front of the truck. No amount of horn blowing could convince her to move. Sometimes, she would turn around and stop, as if to say, “Do you mind? I have somewhere important to go.” These cows taught us to respect their age and give them their space. In life, we must appreciate individuals of all ages. Each plays an important role in society and should be respected for such.

    Grandpa taught us to expect the unexpected from things put under pressure. Whether it was a cornered yearling ready to tear down the catch pen or a strand of new barbed wire, stretched taunt with a come-a-long, we knew to respect the fact that without care, someone could really get hurt with either. In tense situations, things often react differently than they normally would. Expect the unexpected.

    The way I see it, these lessons, taught through simple daily tasks, made a greater impression on me than some story or fable in a textbook. Although my grandfather did not live to see us reach adulthood, I think he would have been proud to see how we retained the lessons he taught us, under the guise of an afternoon of fun at his farm. As my daughter grows, I look forward to the day when she’s old enough to go with my dad, her Grandpa Lee, to the same cow pasture, take care of some of the same old cows and discover some of the important lessons that made me who I am.

    -- by Julie Adams, 2003, published in the Monroe Journal. Love you, Grandpa. Miss you so much.
  5. Julie_A

    Julie_A Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Brewton, Ala.
    Quote:Probably right. We did have dumplings once a week at their house. [​IMG]
  6. catdaddyfro

    catdaddyfro Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 16, 2009
    Vernon Parish
    Last fall I had a older BR hen and she laid a small egg like that as she was going into molt. As soon as she got through the molt she resumed laying normal sized eggs until I shipped her down the road. So i wouldn't say it their last egg but like someone else mentioned earlier maybe a hiccup or maybe aliitle ill or something of that nature. Hens lay for a long, long time you just have to figure when its feasable to trade feed consumption for production. If that is of no concern then a hen will lay eggs till almost the end of their days. They just lay fewer and fewer one reason is they usually get bigger the longer they lay.

    I had an old BO hen that laid an egg about the size of a goose egg, just didn't get many a week.
  7. Mominator

    Mominator Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 9, 2008
    Killingworth, CT
    Julie, I thought your article was wonderful! I have saved it to show to my kids...they will each get a copy on their pillows when they turn in for the night. Thanks for that!

  8. riftnreef

    riftnreef Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2009
    Mechanicsburg, Ohio
    I feel a sudden urge to call my dad...nice article...thanks for posting it!
  9. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    Nice article! I am missing my Grandad and Grandpa right now!
  10. MomtoSyd&Emma

    MomtoSyd&Emma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2009
    Southern VA
    That was beautiful, I just lost my Grandfather 2 years ago (I lost all 4 of my Grandparents in about 6 years, and a Great Aunt that was like a Grandma)

    I so miss them, and this brought alot of memories flying at me! Thank you

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