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The Mystery of the Egg Size Discrepancy

It’s been 8 months since my hens started laying, and it still completely baffles me why Cleo’s eggs are consistently so much bigger than Gloria’s, with the exception of her freakishly large “Frankenstein” egg, after which she skipped a day of laying and then laid a dwarf -sized egg. Cleo seems to be a superior layer in other ways as well. She’s much more consistent and hardly ever misses a day, but Gloria misses about 1 in 5 days on average. And I’ve already mentioned how Cleo’s eggs are even easy to peel when hard-boiled, which is unusual with fresh eggs in general. Gloria is a bigger bird, but has a smaller comb, and I believe she is not pure Rhode Island Red, but has some Barred Rock in her as well. So what gives? Does any of this make a difference? Any theories out there???

Gloria’s smaller, inconsistently sized and colored eggs are on the left, and Cleo’s perfect, large, consistently sized ones are on the right… but they both taste great, and once we crack them open, we can’t tell the difference!

free range egg size comparison

Even if she is not the best layer, Gloria is still a very sweet chicken who also enjoys a good bedtime story:

hen in hammock being read a bedtime story


9 thoughts on “The Mystery of the Egg Size Discrepancy

  1. When I was 2 I lived on a 2000 acre farm. My dad thought it best to teach me farm life as early as possible and gave me the task of collecting eggs every morning. Every time I’d open the door, the rooster would come screaming and pecking at me. From this I developed a nervousness around chickens. That being said, I can hardly wait to one day own my own place where I can raise chickens. Your adventures make me wish this could be sooner or later!! In the meantime, I’ll keep helping family in Jamaica get their little chicken farms going. When I’m there, I’ll take some pics and post them for you 🙂

    • Sweet! I’ll look forward to the pics. I’m sorry about your experience with the rooster. I hear some roosters are friendly, but I couldn’t wait to get rid of our cockerels when they started biting me and picking on the girls, so I’m glad I don’t have them. I imagine that roosters would be really helpful to have with a lot of hens that need protection and fertilization, though. Our hens are super sweet, probably mostly because they’ve been raised by hand, and they were held and fed by myself and my kids as chicks. I would recommend going that route for you when the time comes. Get chicks from a local feed store and play with them a lot! Not hard to do, they are soooo cute!

  2. I’m pretty sure that egg-laying is a similar trait to any other physical endeavor, such as running or jumping. Two brothers or sisters have the same genetic pool, yet one can run much faster or jump much higher. It’s just another piece of evidence that God’s world was created to foster infinite variety.

  3. My chooks all lay different sized and coloured eggs. I’ve never seen it as a problem, I prefer it so I know who’s laid each day (since they all 3 do pretty much every day, it’s not a big mystery, but on those days when one is missed….). What most frustrates me is when Isabel lays a chameleon egg; Bronwyn’s are big and light-coloured (like she is), Rosie’s are dark and small (like she is) and Isabel’s are somewhere inbetween (like she is). Isabel’s shells are often 2-tone and one end is pointy – but sometimes it’s a bit bigger and lighter and could be Bronwyn’s, sometimes it’s a bit smaller and darker and could be Rosie’s. I’ve decided she does this on purpose just to play with my head!

    My advice, enjoy diversity!

  4. My hens even of the same breed have different laying qualities… who knows why! My polish, who are known to lay maybe 3 a week, lay every day! Again… who knows why! As long as they are laying lets just be happy. 🙂

    • Thanks! That’s good to hear from an experienced chicken keeper. I am very happy, and enjoying all of the eggs immensely, I’m just also very curious. 🙂

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