The summer has flown by, and the hens started laying before I thought they would! It started out with one, very small, very light colored, wrinkly "soft" egg shell. We kept it in the refrigerator and brought it out for "show and tell" whenever someone feigned interest in the birds. After a few days, it started to look like wizened old man balls (not that I know what those look like, but I imagine they might). Anyway, after that anomaly, the eggs came one or two a day, got darker in color, and a bit larger in size, until the current production rate which is now about 5-6 a day, mostly medium to large eggs, certainly not extra large.
I also realized that the hen or hens (not sure if the layer, or friends) would cackle VERY loudly when an egg was laid! The first time I noticed this, they made so much noise that I ran down to the coop to make sure that no predator had made its way inside. But there was nothing, only the hens who by this time were already in the run, so when I looked in the coop, I saw one very large egg and picking it up, noticed its warmth from just being laid, it's tremendous size, and the fact that there were "rings" around the shell. I felt like a ballistics expert --- "Joe, look at this egg -- I bet forensics could identify which bird laid it by these rings!" (Too much television). We still have this egg in the refrigerator; (it's hard not to keep the evidence), and it makes me wish I would have had chickens when I was in fourth grade because my science presentations would have been oh so much more interesting! Instead I showed up with dioramas of Native American roundhouses made out of cardboard potato chip boxes, Civil War 'forts' constructed from popsicle sticks, and my collection of butterflies, moths, and leaves. But I digress.
After a few weeks of very uniform, brown eggs, today we had another whopper (accompanied by the loud cackling, poor thing) but it was misshapen, sort of flat on one side, and the 'rings' in it were irregular as well. It was lighter in color too. I wish I knew which hen was laying which egg! I'm not sure why that's important to me, I just wish I knew is all.