Let's start with "Fairy Eggs". These tiny wonders are rare in appearance and occur when something has disturbed the reproductive cycle of a hen. They simply indicate she did not have time to produce a yolk before her body deposited the egg, so voila! An egg the size of a playing marble. It has been several years since I found a fairy egg so this was a special surprise yesterday. Notice the calcium deposits on the large blue egg next to it? That is another anomaly that occurs when a chicken does not absorb all of the calcium she is getting, so it is deposited in tiny bumps on her eggs. This generally occurs in older hens and can be a sign of slow reproduction, over eating or water shortage. In this hen's case, it is probably water. She tends to hang out in the coop even when there is a pond within 20' of her front door. Silly girl.
Now onto Bumblefoot. Technically the name is ulcerative pododermatitis, but 99.9% of chicken people call it Bumblefoot. This term can strike fear in even the most seasoned chicken herder, and is a condition that can prove fatal if not treated immediately. In 20+ years of chicken raising we have had exactly TWO hens with Bumblefoot. If you figure we have seen over 400 birds grow to maturity on this farm, that's pretty good odds. The first case was found before the wound became serious and was easily soaked out. (More on that in a minute). This my peeps is a picture of what the newest case looked like. Warning, it's a little bit gross.