I know. It’s a cringe worthy title. I promise I didn’t take any pictures.
Let me explain. This is one of those lessons on what NOT to do, my friends.
So, remember a while back when we found a hen hiding in the chicken coop, sitting on too many eggs? Remember how I collected the extra eggs so that she could sit on a manageable amount, and keep them all properly warm?
Well, without a second thought, I had taken the extra eggs inside and stuck them in the fridge.
Okay, let’s pause for a minute so that I can offer a little How Chicken Eggs Turn To Chicks 101 for all you non-chicken people.
When you have a rooster and a hen, the rooster will more likely than not mate with your hen and cause her eggs to be fertilized.
You won’t be able to tell if an egg is fertilized or not until she has sat on it for a while- then you can do a process called candling ( whole other topic), which is basically shining a light through the egg to look for signs of life.
Anyways… when a hen begins to sit on a fertilized egg (thus incubating it) it will slowly begin to develop into a chick. It takes 21 days for a chick to fully form and hatch. How far along the chick is developed depends upon how long a hen has been keeping the egg warm.
And when I found this hen, I had no idea how long she’d been sitting there. Yet, I grabbed up her eggs for us to eat.
See where this is going??
Okay, so a few days after I brought the eggs inside, I decided to make hard boiled eggs. I washed them, stuck them in a pot of water, brought it to a boil… did everything as usual.
But when they were done and I started peeling the shell off, I was HORRIFIED to find a big, grey round thing looking up at me from underneath a layer of cooked egg-white!
I gasped, because it all came flooding back to me. The hen. The eggs! How long had she been sitting on these eggs?!?
Oh gosh. *gag* OH GOSH! It’s an eyeball!! A big, swollen eyeball!!
Aaaaah!!!! I was totally freaking out.
And dangit! I needed those eggs for a potluck I was going to later on.
Maybe it wasn’t a chick. Maybe there was some other explanation.
But the more I looked at that swollen grey eyeball looking up at me, the more that sick feeling churned in my stomach. I picked it up to see if I could determine anything with a closer examination.
Oh gosh, why is it so hard?! My boiled eggs are never this hard!
I had to know.
I got a knife. And slowly I forced my hand to make a cut through the hard egg, cringing and looking away as I did. When I felt the knife hit the plate, I held my breath and glanced back at it through squinted eyes and gritted teeth.
But to my surprise… it looked normal! I grabbed it up, relieved but perplexed. What the heck?
Later I learned that when you overcook a hard boiled egg, the yolk will turn a greyish color, and it will become much harder than you’d typically want.
A grey yoke. I’d overcooked it.
No hard boiled chick.
But, this could have ended very badly. Lesson learned. The next time I take an egg out from under a sitting hen, and I have no idea how long she’s been there… I’ll candle the egg before we try to eat it. Bleh.
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.