Tiny Chicken Eggs – A Natural Phenomenon With A Spooky History

I went to collect eggs yesterday and found a tiny chicken egg sitting in the nest boxes along with the regular size eggs. I thought to throw it over the house but instead decided to tempt Fate and brought it indoors so I could take a picture of it to share with you.

Tiny Chicken Egg

Regular Size Eggs and a Small Dwarf Egg Called a “Cock Egg”

Tiny or miniature size eggs in standard size hens are the natural result when a small bit of reproductive tissue or other small foreign mass enters the hen’s oviduct and triggers the regular formation of an egg.
Inside the hen’s body the bit of tissue or foreign mass is treated exactly like a normal yolk. It is swathed and enveloped in albumen, membranes and a shell and is eventually passed from the hen’s body. When it is laid it looks just like a regular chicken egg except that it is very little and teeny.

These types of malformed eggs have been known for centuries as a ‘Cock Egg’. Most often these little eggs contain only the white of the egg and no yolk. Usually the shells are harder to break than that of a normal egg.

Cock Egg - No Yolk Just Egg White

Cock Egg – No Yolk Just Egg White

‘Cock Egg’ is a synonymous term for any type of abnormal egg.
Sometimes a normal sized egg is formed without a proper hard shell but with a yolk. That egg too is also known as a cock egg, but is sometimes called a “rubber egg’ or “tube egg” by people not familiar with the history or folklore of eggs.

In folk tradition, a cock egg was understood to have been laid by a rooster or cock and not a hen, and was a cause for concern. Cock eggs according to different folklore traditions bring bad luck or illness if they are brought into the house. That’s because a cock egg is believed to have malefic and magical powers. They are reputed to be of value to sorcerers and magicians for mixing magical potions and casting spells.

The way the story goes, is that if a toad, serpent or witch at the behest of Satan incubates a cock egg, the resulting hatchling will be a cockatrice or a basilisk. A cockatrice or basilisk is an ancient winged monster with a serpent’s body and a rooster’s head that can kill and destroy by its breath and glance.

During the middle ages it was self-evident to most intelligent people that a cock egg was the work of the devil. Animals as well as people could be in league with Satan, and in 1474 a chicken passing for a rooster in Basle, Switzerland was put on trial and condemned to be burned at the stake for “the heinous and unnatural crime of laying an egg”. American author and educator, E.V. Walter in his essay – Nature On Trial – The Case Of A Rooster That Laid An Egg , writes, “ the execution took place with as great a solemnity as would have be observed in consigning a heretic to the flames, and was witnessed by an immense crowd of townsmen and peasants.”

A cock egg has also been called a ‘Witch Egg’ since the Middle Ages and a ‘Fairy Egg’ during the mid and late Victorian era. In Scotland and elsewhere in Europe, a cock egg is sometimes also called a ‘Wind Egg’. In recent times here in the U.S. these types of deformed eggs are sometimes called ‘Fart Eggs’.
I suppose language really does reflect cultural ideals and concerns.
Superstition instructs that the best way to protect against the evil of a cock egg is to throw the malformed egg over the roof of the house and smash it on the other side which of course I didn’t do.

So now I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next. But I’m not too worried – it was worth the photos.

  15 comments for “Tiny Chicken Eggs – A Natural Phenomenon With A Spooky History

  1. js
    March 11, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Maybe a fart egg is good luck! I will buy my lottery tickets today!!

  2. March 21, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    My Easter Egger just laid one yesterday. Please let me know if any bad luck or illness has befallen you since writing this so that I may have a few days head start to draw the proper circles of sorcery and make sure that all my dragons tears are properly stowed in the Lazy Susan!

    I’ll have no more orcs in my garden.

    Fascinating bit of information by the way. I adore odd history tidbits.

    • KMG
      March 21, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      Just throw it over the house and all will be well 😉

      • March 29, 2016 at 12:43 pm

        It’s too late, my house imploded opening up a gateway to hell!! Really destroyed the resale value and I have lost all my sweet sweet curb appeal!

        But…free demons!

        • KMG
          March 29, 2016 at 4:27 pm

          You’ll know better next time….

  3. hennie
    March 29, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Oh no! I made an asparagus omlet and cracked it open ! It was complete with yolk and all! I had guest that popped in unexpectedly, we all ate!!
    Now what!

    Hennie Pecker in NY

    • KMG
      March 29, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      You’re basically screwed…

  4. Maria A. Zamora
    April 1, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    I am new at this. My chickens started laying eggs. Eggs are very tiny. what am I doing wrong?Please help. so far I have two chickend laying eggs. on Easter Monday I found a blue egg in a nest. today I found a blue egg and a brown egg in another nest but both eggs are very small. As the chickens get older will they lay bigger eggs?

    • KMG
      April 1, 2016 at 5:20 pm

      Yes. It is perfectly normal for young pullets to lay smaller eggs 🙂

  5. Nancy
    April 17, 2016 at 10:20 am

    One of my chickens laid a tiny egg with a yolk twice in one week. She is almost a year old and has been laying normally since September. Could she be sick?

    • KMG
      April 17, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      No. She’s probably just an instrument of Satan 😉

  6. Nancy
    April 17, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    She seems to have a goose like honk and diarrhea too. Should I seek medical attention?

    • KMG
      April 17, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      I suppose you could. But for one chicken I wouldn’t.

  7. Mary
    April 19, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    I found one today. All the years I’ve had chickens, never saw one before

  8. Mama B
    April 25, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I had my first one today, and it’s blue… Already in the house, so I guess I’ll have to save it, along with the toad I found, and create a Prince at the New Moon… 🙂

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