Off with the fairies: Cracking case of the tiny mystery egg
"One of my chickens is a tight-arse."
That was the conclusion Emerald Beach man Trevor Veale jumped to after collecting his eggs the other morning.
"There's only one of them laying at the moment but I still can't be sure who laid the tiny one."
Black Betty, Hazel and Penny live the good life so Trevor's sure it's not diet related or a sign of ill-health.
With some extra time on his hands he did a bit of research and stumbled upon the phenomenon of 'fairy eggs'.
"Well I wasn't going to just pluck an answer straight out of the air."
He found out that occasionally a hen will lay a fairy egg when something has disturbed her reproductive cycle. The hen may lay a fairy egg or two just as she comes into laying, before her reproductive system has gotten into gear so it generally won't contain a yolk.
"And that sounds like what I had - there was no yolk in it. I was feeling a bit peckish but had to make do with the bigger one for breakfast."
They come in all the usual colours: white, brown, green, blue and so on.
Fairy eggs are normally nothing to be concerned about.
It simply means the chicken didn't release a yolk before producing an egg to enclose it.
Sometimes a hen may lay a small egg that still contains a yolk, too... even if she normally lays larger eggs.
It typically happens with a new layer as her body is getting into the rhythm of laying, but it can also happen with older birds if there has been a disturbance that upsets their usual cycle.