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First Eggs Laid by Hatched Chickens

We've had somewhat of a milestone occur here.  One or both of our newest hens, Foghorn Leghorn and Beaker, have laid their first eggs.  These are the two hens that we hatched from eggs.  They are in fact the first and only chickens we've ever hatched from eggs.  It's exciting to see these hens grow to maturity and begin laying their own eggs.   Below is one of the eggs.

You may be wondering how we know this particular egg is from the young new hens.  The size of the egg is distinctive when a new hen begins laying.  Their first eggs are quite small.  Below is a comparison of the eggs from the other hens with the small egg from our youngest layer hen.

I'm amazed that these young hens are laying eggs during the most dreary time of year.  Most of our other chickens have stopped laying due to the shortened days and cold weather. Such freeloaders they all are! But no matter the snow and the blustery rainy days, their cycle has kicked in and the new hens are producing.  Good girls.

The first few eggs from young hens are so adorably small.  Inside, the yolk and egg white are exactly the same as any other egg formation; everything is just a bit on the small side.  And yes, their eggs will get eaten along with all the rest, yum.

To give you background in case you've just begun reading our blog, we used to have a rooster.  His name was Captain Rooster and he was the meanest bugger you ever did cross.  But he loved his hens quite well.  Seven months ago in mid-June, one of our hens became broody and so we let her sit on an assortment of eggs from all our hens. That was the first time we'd ever tried this.  About three weeks later, after a lot of jostling out in the coop with eggs getting kicked out of the nest and rolling around here and there, we moved the broody hen inside to a metal feeding trough where her few remaining eggs would stay put. Only two eggs hatched.  Both of the peeps who emerged thrived.  Those peeps are Foghorn Leghorn and Beaker.

Foghorn Leghorn (the white one) and Beaker (the gray one) have grown to become the tallest hens in our flock.  They are also the most skittish, being the new kids on the block.  Foghorn Leghorn is very protective of Beaker and the two hang out together, looking after one another and sleeping side-by-side on the perch at night.  Below are the two this morning, gray hen and white hen sticking close together.

The white hen will bite to protect the gray one...she's a feisty girl and takes after her dad, Captain Rooster.  Fortunately the gray one is quite docile and therefore more pettable.

We had hoped to have another rooster emerge from the two new chicks, after the passing of Captain Rooster.  But neither chicken has shown any rooster tendencies and at this late date, I'm pretty sure they are both girls.