My Chicken Transmogrified into a Quail

Isabel transmogrified into a quail this morning… then turned back into a chicken. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for why she laid a dark brown, 23 gram egg when her normal egg is 60 grams and a purpley-tan.

Yesterday she didn’t lay at all which is something she opts for about once a month. I’m happy for her to take a break, but I’m used to her stepping right back up to the nest to lay the next day.

Here’s her egg next to Bronwyn’s. Bronnie laid a respectable 68 gram egg today – not her best effort, a very normal size for her.


Though Isabel looks okay now, I’m keeping a keen eye out for more quail-like behaviour. I don’t want to modify all my recipes to triple the required egg quantity!


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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2 Responses to My Chicken Transmogrified into a Quail

  1. Coop Poop says:

    Transmogrify? Now that’s some word! I’m not sure I could get away with using it in a sentence! This egg laying thing can be stressful to us chicken people, for sure. A month or so ago, one of the hens (I don’t know who) – well, her egg fell out of her vent one night and dropped to the floor just below the perch. The egg had a very soft shell – like it was just forming. If I hadn’t been doing a thorough clean and sweep of the wood shavings, I might have missed it altogether. In Isabel’s case, she laid a much smaller AND much darker egg. I wonder what causes such anomalies now and again? The birds do seem fine for the most part.

    • Great word, don’t ya think? I could have used “changed” but what she did was more miraculous than that.

      You had a hen lay in her sleep? Mine never lay where they perch (thank goodness because it’s very poopy). They do sometimes poop where they lay (naughty) but it’s rare enough that my eggs are almost always clean.

      I did have a hen lay a shell-less egg and that was just gross. She obviously knew something was up because she didn’t lay in the nest box. It’s the only time any of our girls have laid in the bushes. That said, as you observed, it would be easy to miss these anomalies. Without a good shell to protect it, the contents of the egg would vanish in the surroundings and probably be eaten by everything.

      I’m sure that these exceptions are “normal” and so I don’t worry about them, I just observe and record. So far Isabel’s laid this funny egg, Bronwyn’s laid a shell-less egg and Rosie’s have always been fine. Since they’ve been laying almost an egg a day each since May that’s not a very high error rate.

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