Tiny egg is no yolk
IT may not be the world's smallest chook-laid egg, but it's pretty close.
Gympie's Craig Slattery made a cracking discovery this week when he collected the eggs from his henhouse and found one 10 times smaller than the rest.
At 26mm in length, the egg is just 5mm larger than the current world record holder.
But in 2011, it would have taken the record from the world's smallest egg at the time, which was 27mm.
Curious, Craig researched tiny eggs laid by fully grown hens and discovered it was not an uncommon occurrence.
"Once I Googled it, quite a few came up," he said.
A mini chook-laid egg, 10 times smaller than the normal size, was an "eggcellent" lesson in the strange and unusual at a Gympie day care centre this week.
Children at Craig Slattery's family day care on Tuesday were intrigued by what could easily be the region's smallest egg laid by a regular layer.
While The Gympie Times has heard from people in possession of unusually large eggs, this was a first.
Craig, however, was not getting too carried away.
"I reckon from what I've read, it's pretty common, but the eggs get smashed up or eaten before they are found," he said and compared the weight of the tiny egg at 7g to an average-sized one at 75g.
"I had a look at the Guinness World Records and in 2011 it was 27mm. We would have between it then, but it's right down to 21mm now."
The Slattery's chooks are all fed on the same type of layers pellets enriched with the necessary proteins and vitamins to aid egg production, but none of the others has laid such a little cracker.
HOW IT HAPPENS
Tiny yolkless eggs are sometimes known as witch eggs or fairy eggs.
Occasionally a hen will lay a fairy egg when something has disturbed her reproductive cycle.
Sometimes a hen will lay a fairy egg or two just as she comes into laying, before her reproductive system has got into gear, but it can also happen with older birds if there has been a disturbance that upsets their usual cycle.
A tiny egg means the hen didn't release a yolk before her body started producing an egg to enclose it.