A little FAIRY visited us on Sunday!
A beautiful magical creature that only lives in stories and folklore left us a tiny little present!
Sadly the fairy disappeared back to its enchanted kingdom before I could snap a picture but I do have a picture of the darling gift:
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It’s A Fairy Egg!
Yes, the precious fairy gift was a tiny fairy egg!
Isn’t it adorable??
I am half tempted to stick it in the incubator to see if I can hatch my very own fairy. Just imagine it! Would it be purple and pink? Would it be covered in sparkles or glitter? Maybe I could make my own Disney movie!
Fairies aren’t real! Are they??
You’re right! Fairy’s don’t actually exist!
So where DID this tiny egg come from?
I found this “fairy egg” inside the duck coop!
It wasn’t really laid by a fairy (shocking, I know!). And it wasn’t laid by a bantam chicken (because we don’t have any chickens). Nor was it laid by a resident robin (robin eggs are blue, just in care you didn’t know!).
Believe it or not, a duck laid this egg!
Generally ducks lay rather large eggs, even larger than most chicken eggs. My duck eggs on average weigh about 2.5 ounces, but this tiny fairy egg weighed a mere 0.42 ounces.
As you can see, this egg is significantly smaller than a normal duck egg:
So what is a “fairy egg” anyway??
A fairy egg is a reproductive anomaly. The result of when something goes wrong in the egg making business. But not to worry. Even though these eggs are not normal, they are not uncommon or alarming.
Fairy eggs are generally laid by young birds just getting into the egg business. You may see a few of these eggs from your young ducks before they start laying. It’s as if they are working out the kinks at the start of a production line.
You can also see these fairy eggs from adult birds. They may result after a sudden change in the environment such as a new member is added to the flock, an abrupt change in diet, or after a stressful storm or predator encounter.
But these fairy eggs can also occur simply from a variance in the reproductive cycle.
Here’s a quick simplified reproductive class on duck eggs:
A yolk is released from the ovary. It travels down a duct where a layer of egg white surrounds the yolk. Then the eggshell is formed around it before it is laid for your breakfast! It’s actually much more complicated than that, but you get the gist.
A fairy egg happens when a yolk is not fully formed before it is packed inside a shell or it happens when a tiny piece of reproductive tissue breaks off and stimulates an egg to be formed even though there actually isn’t any yolk.
Fairy eggs don’t seem quite so magical now, do they?
It’s not just a duck thing.
Fairy eggs also occur in the chicken world.
And fairy eggs go by many names:
- wind eggs
- witch eggs
- dwarf eggs
- luck eggs
- cock eggs
- and my personal favorite: fart eggs…
Too bad I didn’t title this post: “My duck laid a fart egg!” I think it might have grabbed some more attention.
Are fairy eggs bad luck?
Many years ago, these tiny eggs were referred to as “cock eggs”, because people believed they were laid by roosters. Some also believed that if you brought one into your home your family would befall bad luck, great illness, and even death. The only way to prevent this terrible fate was to throw the egg over the home and have it smash land on the other side of the house.
I broke all rules by bringing the egg inside my home (GASP) and cracking it on my counter, not over my roof (DOUBLE GASP).
In the past, these tiny eggs could also be known as “witch eggs”, because they were assumed to be of high value to witches and sorcerers in their magic spells and potions.
And there were those that even thought that if you incubated one of these eggs, a magical creature called a cockatrice or basilisk would hatch. If you’ve read a Harry Potter book or seen the movie, you know this creature is bad news bears.
However, my egg seemed very un-magical and I am positive nothing would hatch from this egg because there is not enough yolk to support the growth of a chick of any form. In fact, these eggs are often called “no-yolkers” because usually, a yolk is not present inside the tiny shell.
Can you eat a fairy egg?
Of course you can eat a fairy egg!
It’s just like any other egg, except smaller. It may not have much of a yolk but if you like egg whites, you can certainly still eat this egg.
When you compare the size of the fairy egg to the regular duck eggs, you can see why many people call them fart eggs. They sure aren’t bigger than a fart.
How can I prevent fairy eggs in the future?
If your duck is young and this is the first time she is laying, do not worry. I assure you that your little girl will grow out of this stage.
If your duck is an adult and she has laid only one or two fairy eggs, do not worry. Like I said before, these eggs are just mistakes in the reproductive system and she will return to making normal-sized eggs soon. My duck laid a normal egg the very next day.
If your adult duck has laid several of these eggs in a short period of time, consult a veterinarian. A bigger reproductive problem may be occurring.
To prevent fairy eggs in the future, ensure you are feeding your hens proper layer nutrition and providing them with a stress-free environment. And do not use artificial lighting in your coop to extend the laying season.
Well, we cracked the mystery of the fairy egg! Don’t miss the next magical thing to happen in this Hard Duck Life! Subscribe!