These are also known as Wind Eggs and are tiny eggs, generally without a yolk inside. The cause of these cute little eggs is thought to be when a small chunk of tissue comes loose in the egg production area of the hen and is mistaken as a yolk. The process immediately surrounds this hunk of tissue and creates an egg around it.
There’s nothing to worry about with these tiny eggs. It’s just a fluke that happens from time to time. One of my hens laid eight fart eggs in a row one time. She was on a streak! She eventually got over it and started laying normal eggs again.
Blood Spots on the Outside Shell:
This is a good indication that you’ve got some red mites present. The best treatment for this problem is to talk to a vet and get some anti-mite remedy from them.
Blood Spots on the Inside of the Egg:
A common misconception of the blood spot inside the egg is that it’s a fertilized egg. But, actually, the blood spot is caused by the rupture of a blood vessel during the formation of the egg. It’s harmless and can be eaten (or picked out of the egg before cooking, if you don’t like the looks of it).
Double Yolk in Egg:
This happens when two yolks are released at the same time and become encased in a single shell.
Sandpaper-like or Rough/Irregular Shells:
There could be a number of reasons for the rough, uneven, bumpy or sandpaper-like egg shells. Sometimes this happens simply because the hen is young and she will 'grow out of it'. Other reasons include: lack of water, infection, or chaotic conditions when the hen is trying to lay (resulting in potentially retaining the egg for longer than normal).
Soft Shell/No Shell Eggs:
There are actually several potential causes of a hen laying a soft-shelled egg. One cause is from the hen not receiving enough calcium in her diet. The remedy for this is easy. Place a small container of oyster shell or other calcium source in the pen so the hen can eat it whenever she needs it (amazingly, her body will tell her when she needs it—so just give her access to it and she’ll know how much to eat). Also, it’s good to have your hens on a layer food, which has added calcium.
Sometimes, it’s not a calcium issue, however. If a chicken’s system is somehow shocked or the hen gets scared, it could cause the next egg she lays to be soft. However, if ALL the hens are laying soft eggs and they’re also all eating calcium, add variety to their diet by feeding them things like fresh spinach or cabbage. Allow them more free-range time to increase the greens in their diet.
Lastly, if you’ve done all the above, and occasionally get a soft egg, just know that sometimes hens lay soft eggs for no reason at all. Unless it becomes a huge problem, don’t worry about it. However, it’s good to try all the above first, to make sure it’s not a lack in their diet.
The below photo shows an extreme soft shelled egg that actually cooked while inside the hen. It's known as a pus 'olith. Occassionally, an egg might become stuck in the inside of the hen, so internal that you can't tell anything is wrong. While in there, it actually cooks (see the yellow cooked yolk looking part? That's exactly what it is). Most of the time, these pus 'oliths need to be surgically removed (according to my vet), but this was all hanging out one of my hen's vents one morning, so I could just gently pull it all out. She was fortunate.
Below is an egg that looked and felt like a piece of silly putty, but when cut open, had a cooked yolk (like the above), and was actually laid by the same hen who survived the pus 'olith but hasn't recovered her ability to lay normal eggs. (Here's more of this hen's story, if you're interested.)
Most of the time, though, odd looking eggs aren't actually chicken egg problems, they're just odd looking eggs. Consider it a 'bad egg day' and watch to make sure it doesn't become a habit. However, sometimes abnormal eggs could be a sign of dietary lack or occassionally even disease. If problems persist, consider consulting a vet.
Would you like to know more about chicken eggs?
Learn more about other chicken problems.
Learn how to use your egg shells for a calcium boost for your chickens.
Try out some of our recipes for all those eggs?