Lesson 632 – Houston, we have some Maran eggs

We have been waiting and waiting (and waiting) for our Black Copper Maran chicken; Charlie to lay an egg. She was born in early January and that makes her 10 months old. That’s certainly old enough to be laying eggs. Marans lay dark brown eggs that look like they are made of chocolate. But even though we’ve looked and looked, we’ve found nothing.

Maybe she’s hiding them I thought, and I inspected all corners and rafters in our henhouse.

Still nothing.

But then I took a look at our egg collection and something caught my attention.

Do you see what I see?

Some of our eggs are darker. When you look at them alone, they just look like rich brown eggs, but when you compare them to our other brown eggs then you’ll see that something is clearly different.

Hmmm, methinks that something is going on here.

And when I took an even closer look, I saw that these darker brown eggs actually have a variation in color. They are darker at one end and then get lighter at the other. This would be consistent with how a Maran creates the eggs because it’s not that the actual shell is dark brown, it’s that as the egg comes down the canal, pigment (like a coat of paint) is applied to the outer shell before it is laid.

Do you see how the ends facing each other are a bit lighter?

Hmm, I think our little Charlie is a very clever bird, much more clever than I am. I’m pretty sure that these are her eggs and she’s been laying them all along.

I just wasn’t able to see the forest for all those trees in our hen house.



Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Charlie, chicken care, Eggs

4 responses to “Lesson 632 – Houston, we have some Maran eggs

  1. LOL When you look at the eggs together like that, there are clearly different brown eggs. isn’t it exciting.
    Eggs are interesting things aren’t they. Before I got chickens, all eggs in the supermarket are the same (except maybe brown or white). Now I see that they can be so different. You certainly have quite a variety in your egg carton.
    Even my two Barnevelders (sisters) lay different eggs. One normal shaped and one more torpedo shaped, which is great as I can always tell who is laying.

  2. Yes it is the colour of the calcium that the hen eats, normally colour comes from the stones the hen eats.

  3. Linda Bickford

    Oh Wendy, how exciting! Charlie is a grown-up hen now – although I think you’re right that maybe she’s been laying some for a time now. They’re nice size and and usually you’ll see smaller ones at first. There’s a color chart for Marans eggs and they aren’t all very dark; wish mine were a little darker. However, if you had a nice dozen next to regular brownish eggs the color would stand out more prominately.
    Told ya it would take a while! Tell Charlie Congratulations for me 🙂

  4. Linda

    Ennis, from Wendy about her little Charlie chicken 🙂

    Sent from my iPhone

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