Archive for July 13th, 2021

Diary #576

Our sapphire gem hens have started laying, but on Sunday I found something I’ve never seen before.  Usually, pullet eggs are small, and sometimes they lack yolks.  But I’ve never before seen one whose shell wouldn’t harden at all.  For those unfamiliar with poultry, eggs are very soft (something like gelatin) when laid, but within about a minute after contact with air the shells harden.  But this little one did not do so; I gently scooped it up and put it in a ramekin in the kitchen, but it still hadn’t hardened after hours; I think it must lack the enzyme or whatever causes the shell to harden.  I’ve got two other eggs in this picture for size comparison; the one at top is what would be called a “large” egg in the US, in other words a pretty typical egg one would buy at the grocery.  The one at left is a typical pullet egg from one of the other young hens, and the one at lower right is the softie; if you zoom in you will be able to see that the texture of the soft shell is visibly different from the more typical pullet egg beside it.  This is one of the things I like about keeping animals; one gets to see fascinating little things about the world that are invisible to the average city-dweller.  It’s kind of like Mr. Wizard Goes to the Country (for you youngsters, Mr. Wizard was like Bill Nye the Science Guy from the ’50s-’80s).  And that’s fine with me, because as I’ve mentioned before, what I wanted to do for a living at the time I entered university was science popularization.  And though that’s not where life led me, I still love talking about that sort of thing as an amateur.

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