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Sep 28, 2008 04:27 AM

Do young hens really lay alarming amounts of cheap eggs?

So, yesterday at the farmers market, I went to my usual egg man and he was selling 30 eggs for £3 (usually we get 6 medium eggs for £1.90). He said that the young hens lay an erratic number of practice small eggs, and that is why they were so cheap. Hen experts, is this so? We have 30 eggs to consume over the next 2 weeks between the two of us. Yum!

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  1. Perhaps they're 'battery hens' who are the beneficiaries of lighting programs?

    1. Most hens lay one egg per day, so it is hard to imagine young hens being so productive. Or erratic, as the egg develops on a daily cycle. If lighting cycles are too quick, the farmer is asking for trouble.
      It is possible the farmer has a new batch of pullets, not yet culled to the normal size flock.

      1. We raised chickens when I was a kid, and our young hens weren't consistent in size or number of yolks when they were old enough to start laying. My brother and I used to fight over the double yolkers and miniature eggs. I don't see any reason to expect other chickens to be any different than ours were. The critical factor in all eggs, regardless of size, is freshness. Sounds like you got a bargain. Enjoy!

        1. Yep. Our hens (outdoors, free-roaming from March - Nov) produced so many small (And irregular) eggs last fall (when they were about 6 months old) that we were giving them away. Within a few weeks, the eggs had increased in size and we were getting about 1/day. But for those first few weeks, we got tons of weird ones!

          1. pullet eggs-- the hen is like a "teenager," not all grown up to large or jumbo eggs. in factory farm situations, these smaller eggs are cracked & go straight into institutional use, cartons of pourable whole egg, etc and do not make it to the marketplace. the eggs, however, are perfectly good, just smaller, and you can buy them at farmer's mkts-- usually in my area the farmers sell 18 pullet eggs for the price of a dozen regular. the organic chicken farmer who supplies our poultry and eggs saves 15 doz-cases of his huge, double-yolked eggs (yes, usually from the older, more experienced hens :-P) for restaurants, bless him-- they are sometimes as big as duck eggs and are perfectly fine for omelets & baking. means less shell-cracking for the same yield, woo-hoo!

            there are some breeds of chickens that lay smaller-sized eggs as well (the hens are smaller too), but i think your fellow was telling you the truth!