Our family has been keeping chickens in the city since 2002 and we are always on the lookout for the welfare of our hens. The first time I saw one of these “Wind” eggs , I worried that something might be off with our hens’ health. These tiny eggs don’t have anything to do their feed or supplements but, instead, are a hormonal issue.(Note: in Middle Ages, these eggs were know as “Witch or Cock Eggs” and later in the Victorian Era, “Fairy Egg”)
A wind egg is the colloquial name for a fully formed egg that does not have a yolk in it. These are generally much smaller than normal eggs and are a blip in egg production, either at the beginning or end of lay when the hormone level has not stabilized and are nothing to worry about
Seems these yolk-less eggs also have a fascinating folklore associated with them. In folk tradition, a “Cock egg” was believed to have malevolent and magical powers. Since they contain no yolk and, therefore, cannot hatch, these eggs were traditionally believed to be laid by roosters. This gave rise to the myth that when a cock’s egg was hatched, it would produce a cockatrice, a fearsome serpent which could kill with its evil stare. According to the superstition, this could be prevented by throwing the egg over the family dwelling so it smashed at the other side without touching the roof.
Think all this is cockamamie? Even more intriguing to note is that in 1474, a chicken passing for a rooster who laid an egg was prosecuted and sentenced to die.