All About Fairy Eggs: Why Your Chickens Lay Them?

Fairy egg between fingertips
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Fairy eggs may sound like something out of a fantasy novel, but they are a very real phenomenon in poultry care. These miniature eggs are often no bigger than a marble, and they lack a yolk!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss what fairy eggs look like and debunk myths about their origins. Let’s get started!

What Are Fairy Eggs?

Large white egg and a tiny blue fairy egg
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Fairy eggs are tiny eggs laid by chickens, usually lacking a yolk. They’re often a surprise in the nest box since they’re smaller than a regular egg and are caused by a glitch in the hen’s egg-laying process. 

Despite their small size, they are a normal occurrence and not harmful to the chicken. Some of the other names for fairy eggs include:

  • Witch eggs
  • Cock eggs
  • Wind eggs
  • Fart eggs

These alternative names reflect the folklore and mystery surrounding their unexpected appearance. 

Historically, people believed these eggs could ward off evil spirits or were laid by roosters, hence the varied and intriguing names.

Note: Fairy eggs are just one of the many egg anomalies that exist. 

There are also shell-less eggs, soft-shelled eggs, eggs with calcium deposits, white or brown speckled eggs, pimpled eggs, slab-sided eggs, black eggs, wrinkled eggs, corrugated eggs, and mottled eggs.

What Do Fairy Eggs Look Like?

Close up of a small pale fairy egg
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A fairy egg is much smaller than a regular chicken egg and typically lacks a yolk. 

The lack of a yolk occurs because the egg was released too early from the hen’s ovary and didn’t pick up a yolk on its way out. This shows how sensitive a hen’s body is to changes in her environment or health.

On another note, a fairy egg’s shell can range in color depending on the hen’s breed but usually matches the normal eggs laid by the chicken. Some might even have unusual shapes or textures, which makes each one unique.

Despite their small size, fairy eggs are fully formed with a hard shell, membrane, and white.

Why Do Chickens Lay Fairy Eggs?

Chickens lay fairy eggs for several reasons and they’re often linked to their health or environment. Check out this list of causes of fairy eggs so you can manage your flocks better.


Changes in the coop, such as adding new chickens, predators nearby, or loud noises, can upset hens and cause them stress. 

This stress can disrupt their normal egg-laying cycle and lead to the occasional fairy egg.


Young hens, which are just starting to lay eggs, and older hens nearing the end of their laying cycle are more likely to lay fairy eggs. It’s part of the natural variation in egg production as hens age.

Health and Nutrition

The size, shell thickness, and internal composition of eggs can all be adversely affected when chickens do not receive a diet that meets their nutritional needs.

In my own experience, giving my chickens a calcium-enriched diet, along with ensuring they had access to plenty of fresh greens and appropriate supplements, significantly reduced the frequency of fairy eggs. 

This change also improved the quality and consistency of the eggs laid as well as enhanced the overall health and vigor of my chickens.

The Myths About Fairy Eggs

Hand holding a fairy egg between large eggs
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Fairy eggs are also wrapped in old tales and fears. People long ago believed these yolkless eggs could hatch into scary creatures like the Basilisk or Cockatrice if the wrong animal warmed them up. 

These mythical beasts were said to be deadly, with just one look or breath causing death.

The stories got so intense that folks would smash these eggs right away to stop any bad luck or monsters from coming around. 

The Basilisk and Cockatrice, part snake and part rooster, were often mixed up in these tales. They were shown as powerful and evil, which makes them popular in old stories and even on family crests.

What’s more, these eggs were thought to be linked to witchcraft. Bringing one inside was considered bad news as it is believed to invite trouble or sickness. 

There was even a time when a rooster was put on trial and executed for supposedly laying a fairy egg in the city of Basel — an example of just how seriously people took these myths.

Are Fairy Eggs a Sign of Health Issues in Chickens?

Finding a fairy egg in your chicken coop is not usually a sign of health issues in chickens. These small eggs are more of a curiosity than a cause for concern. 

As mentioned, fairy eggs can happen when a hen is under stress, experiencing changes in her environment, or adjusting to the egg-laying process. 

It’s a natural part of a hen’s laying cycle, not necessarily a red flag for health problems.

However, if you notice fairy eggs being laid frequently or alongside other symptoms like lethargy, a drop in regular egg production, or changes in eating habits, it might be worth checking in on your flock’s health. 

These could be signs of nutritional deficiencies or stress that need addressing.

What to Do If Your Chickens Lay Fairy Eggs

Speckled fairy egg
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If your chickens start laying fairy eggs, there’s usually no need for immediate concern. They’re not harmful to the chickens and don’t typically indicate any serious problems.

Nevertheless, you might still want to check the environment and diet of your chickens. Ensure they’re not stressed by predators, overcrowding, or changes in their coop. 

A calm, stable environment and a nutritious diet can help maintain regular egg production. Also, make sure they have enough space, fresh water, and a balanced feed.

Additionally, monitor your flock for any other unusual signs or symptoms of distress, such as changes in eating habits or decreased activity. 

Fairy eggs can sometimes indicate that a hen is stressed or not getting the right nutrients. If you see anything concerning, consider consulting a vet or making dietary adjustments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Two fairy eggs in the palm of a hand
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Why Does My Chicken Keep Laying Fairy Eggs?

If your chicken consistently lays fairy eggs, it might be experiencing stress, nutritional imbalances, or is simply at the beginning or end of its egg-laying cycle. 

Young hens just starting to lay and older hens tend to lay fairy eggs more frequently. 

Are Fairy Eggs Safe to Eat?

Yes, fairy eggs are safe to eat. Despite their small size and lack of a yolk, they are just like regular eggs in terms of safety. 

However, due to their small size, they might not be as satisfying or useful in recipes as standard eggs. You might find them more interesting as a novelty or educational tool than as a part of your meal.

Can Fairy Eggs Hatch?

No, fairy eggs cannot hatch. They lack a yolk, which is essential for developing and nurturing a chick inside the egg. Without a yolk, there is no embryo, and without an embryo, there’s no possibility of a chick hatching.

Scientific References

Dunkley, C. S., A Dozen Egg Abnormalities: How They Affect Egg Quality, University of Georgia Poultry Science Department (2022)

Walter, E. V., Nature on Trial: The Case of the Rooster that Laid an Egg, SpringerLink (1984)

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