Idaho Hen Lays Giant Eggs With Another Egg Inside

by Lauren Boisvert
(Image Credit: Michael Chadwick/Getty Images)

A family in Idaho Falls got the surprise of a lifetime when one of their backyard hens laid an egg inside another egg. They then proceeded to have that surprise of a lifetime six more times. That’s right, this backyard hen laid seven eggs within eggs. Maybe she was on a deadline. Not like this chicken who laid a round egg just because she could.

Madison Rosenkrance is the owner of the miraculous hen. She lives in Idaho Falls with her husband Kyle and four kids, and shared that in May the family bought chickens to live in their backyard. Six weeks ago, the chickens started laying eggs.

“We were getting a couple of eggs a day and my daughter likes to go out and get them,” Madison told East Idaho News. “She came inside one day and she had a huge egg that looked like a potato and we were just kind of shocked, like, ‘What is that?!’”

When she posted the egg on social media, people speculated that it could be a double-yolk egg, which is normally a little bigger than normal chicken eggs. But this egg was gargantuan in comparison, much bigger than a double-yolk egg. “We have had lots of double yolks before and this one was twice the size of that,” Madison confirmed. “So I waited for my husband to get home from work and cracked it open and there was another egg inside. It was just weird!” 

The Rosenkrances have ISA brown chickens, and they named the one in question Emma. She’d been laying the giant eggs multiple times, and last Thursday she laid her seventh huge egg. “When I’ve researched it, most people are saying it kind of would happen randomly,” said Madison. “The odds of getting even one is really slim but then to get a bunch in a row like that – I can’t find a story like that anywhere.”

Idaho Family Hen Lays Seven Rare Eggs-Within-Eggs

Ron Patterson, a University of Idaho Extension Agriculture Educator, told East Idaho News that the phenomenon is extremely rare, and most people with backyard chickens won’t see it. Scientists call it counter-peristalsis contraction which happens when the egg-making process essentially ends up backward.

“It goes through another process that puts on that membrane. It then passes onto the final chamber where the eggshell is put on,” explained Patterson. “The peristalsis contraction gets on the wrong side of the egg and pushes the wrong direction. It forces past the membrane chamber so the next egg that comes down comes together with the egg that’s already there.”

People can’t record these eggs-within-eggs because egg-grading facilities eliminate them. Because of this, it’s hard to track the frequency of this phenomenon. Apparently, the yolks are perfectly safe to eat. There’s nothing wrong with them, they were just turned around inside the chicken.

“We ate the very first one that we cracked open and it was pretty normal. It just had more white in it than a normal egg and we scrambled them up and my daughter said it was the best-scrambled egg she’s ever had!” said Madison. “I think it’s just kind of fun. It’s just kind of like a surprise every day. We’ll go and check and it’s just fun for our kids.”