Why are the eggs colorful?

We choose breeds of chickens that lay a variety of colors of eggs naturally. Different breeds lay different colors of eggs. The chickens do all the egg coloring during the formation of their shells.

What do you feed your chickens?

Free-range foraged plants and bugs, supplemented with a balanced non-GMO layer feed from Stutzman’s Mill in Arthur (the feed contains grains and minerals and Fertrell fishmeal, which is sustainably harvested), also black soldier fly, vegetable scraps, grit, and oyster shell.

The chickens are better than a mower and better than other forms of insect controls–and they love the omnivorous hunt! When they find a good bug they will run around singing about it to the others.

Are your chickens vegetarian fed?

Not quite. There are some terrible products sold as chicken feed, many of which contain slaughter waste. We choose to avoid animal products in our feed except for sustainably harvesteed fishmeal.

Do you have a rooster?

Chickens do not require a rooster to lay eggs. We do not have one.

Are your eggs washed?

YES. To be eligible for Illinois Department of Agriculture licensing we wash and candle the eggs before we box them. These eggs have lost their protective coating and need to be refrigerated!

What does egg candling mean?

To candle eggs, we go to an area that is dark and shine a light close to the shell. This allows the shell and contents to glow and allows us to determine the basic condition of the egg. Major problems are obvious, but there is an art to determining what is going on inside–especially for darker shells.

Do you ever have egg anomalies?

Sometimes chickens can lay eggs that are strange. This is particularly noticeable with a small farm flock because we don’t sell uniform eggs and our birds are exposed to a full, outdoor life.

Stress events such as intense thunder or hearing predator calls can cause a small spot in the egg, called a blood spot or meat spot. If the stress event happens during shell formation, it can cause calcification on the outside of the shell. These are all perfectly edible, but not always appetizing to look at!

We make every effort to catch abnormalities during our candling process, but it’s possible we could miss something. If you get a weird egg we would like to know. Text us a picture of it at: 312-715-7627

What are peewees?

“Peewees” or “pullet eggs” are the first eggs a chicken lays. They are smaller than the eggs they will lay for most of their lives and have a higher yolk to white ratio (making them prized by chefs for pasta making). They are only available seasonally as a new flock of chickens begins to lay eggs.

Some egg facts you might not have known:

  • Hens start laying at about five months old
  • Egg production is impacted by light–therefore shorter days = fewer eggs in winter
  • It takes the chicken between 24 and 26 hours to create the egg. 20 hours of that is spent building the shell.
  • Around 15 minutes after a hen lays an egg she starts creating the next egg
  • The USDA sets the sizes of chicken eggs based on the dozen to allow for some natural variation. The approximate sizes of individual eggs are: peewee – under 1.5oz, small 1.5-1.75 oz, medium 1.75-2.0 oz, large 2.0-2.25 oz, extra large 2.25-2.5 oz, jumbo 2.5+ oz.
  • The size of the egg is determined by the age and breed of the bird. Younger hens lay smaller eggs, but the eggs increase in size across the hens’ lives. By 40 weeks most chickens lay large-sized eggs.

Have a different question we didn’t address?

You can contact us at info@joyfulwren.com

or text/call our Google Voice number at 312-715-7627