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Mysterious embryo in very small egg

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kenjikat, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Kenjikat

    Kenjikat New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2015
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    We own 10 laying hens and we are 100% sure there are no roosters. We found the smallest egg we have ever seen in the nesting box and it had brown speckles on it. It has been sitting in our egg basket for about 12 days and i just got around to cooking it today and when I went to crack it the shell was abnormally thick and was very difficult to crack. when i saw the egg in the pan it had a embryo with an umbilical chord and some partially formed organs and tissue. We aren't sure how it got there. Let me know if you have any idea!
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC.
    How often do you gather eggs? What is the ambient temperature where the eggs have been sitting for the past 12 days? Do any of your hens normally lay speckled eggs? Do you have photos of the egg, shell and/or embryo you can post?
    For that sort of development to have happened the egg would need to have been exposed to temperatures well above the typical ambient room temperature that a home is kept at - and the abnormally small size (for your flock) would open the door the possibility that it was left by a species other than your birds (and would explain the fertility without a rooster).
     
  3. Kenjikat

    Kenjikat New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2015
    Seattle Washington
    Hi thanks for responding I collect the eggs about once a day or every other day. our chickens do not usually lay speckled eggs i will see if i have a picture to post. The eggs are kept in the kitchen window sill and we have been having warm weather lately so the sunlight could have attributed to extra warmth for the egg. I think that the possibility for the egg to belong to a different species is pretty likely because there are so many birds where I live.
     
  4. Kenjikat

    Kenjikat New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2015
    Seattle Washington
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Kenjikat

    Kenjikat New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2015
    Seattle Washington
    Sorry is kinda hard to see the embryo and the speckled shells in these pictures[​IMG]
     
  6. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The window sill is about the worst place to keep your eggs. The direct sunlight can raise the temperature far above the room temperature. Not only will that make fertile eggs begin to develop, but I'm sure it will spoil the eggs quicker and help bacteria grow. Either keep your eggs in the fridge, or in a cool place on the counter that doesn't have any vents nearby.

    Maybe another bird got to your nest, but those pics show an almost identical color. I'd think the egg might have just had a meat spot, or a string of bacteria that looked like an embryo. Can't tell from pic. If it is an embryo then there must be a rooster around somewhere. Do your birds free range? One mating session will make the hens eggs fertilized for a couple weeks I think.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  7. Kenjikat

    Kenjikat New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2015
    Seattle Washington
    Ok thank you for the tip I just looked at the egg basket and realized that it was not right in front of the window but farther from it on the counter. our chickens free range and we do have an old male peacock that sometimes lives in our yard but peacock mating season is spring early summer so I don't think he could have caused it and he hasn't been in our yard since Julyish. The egg was also small and peacocks have big eggs and I know that peacocks and chickens can reproduce but only under rare circumstances. I don't think there is a rooster near us because our H.O.A does not allow them. I really appreciate your feed back[​IMG]
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Are you positive it was an embryo?
    Could have just been a larger chunk of tissue and/or blood released with the ovum, happens sometimes.
    Could be a smaller ovum too.
     
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    From the photo that looks more like meat/blood spot than development of an embryo. Meat spots are often confused as embryonic tissue due to their appearance
     

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