Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Friday 17 October 2008

How I know who has laid what egg?

Several people have asked me how I know who has laid what egg?

I watch who goes in to Cluckingham Palace or the Eglu, and correlate the egg laid with the hen...I also have been known to shut a hen individually in each of the houses and runs , if she hadn't laid, to see what colour/shape egg she lays.

I only did this when I first got the girls, I had Henny and Ginger first and they lay different colour eggs ( dark brown speckled, pale brown and pointed) so that was easy. I then got Sweetie, Attila, Genghis and Cathy

Sweetie and Attila lay similar creamy coloured eggs but they are VERY different shapes, Attila's are long and pointy, Sweetie's are more rounded. Genghis doesn't lay, or lays a soft shell mess...when she DOES lay its a huge misshapen thing!

Cathy lays very round large pale brown speckled eggs, similar to Ginger but more round.

From left, Henny, Ginger, Attila, Sweetie, Cathy eggs.

Babs and Goldie came here only a couple of months ago and lived in the Eglu so they were easy to identify! They both lay mid brown eggs, Babs lays slightly speckled eggs, often a double yolker! whereas Goldie's are plain and a little smaller.

It IS useful to be able to tell the eggs apart, although I rather think Compostman thinks I am mad to do this........


  1. Oh your post made me giggle! I only have two chickens, so it's easy to spot who's laid what .. Treacle's are brown and Honey's are paler. I love yours all in a row - it looks like a proper shade chart for paint colours, or something!! Just think of all the goodness in those eggs - Lovely!
    Willow x

  2. I can't wait to see what sort of eggs come out of my three, I hope I can tell them apart like you.

  3. Have just finished reading some of your blog and adore it, the chickens remind me of when we had them as a child in New Zealand, sadly can't have them in this house. Have only just started doing my own blog and hope you don't mind if I had you to my fav's list. Now to go nick my photos back of my mother. Fiona

  4. Well today was Compostgirl School Harvest Festival Assembly and we all take in stuff to auction off for charity and school funds at the end...I took some eggs and jam and chutneys as well as sorting out the veg boxes from the School garden.

    The Head was VERY amused, on looking at the eggs and jokingly asking me who laid them, when I reeled off the 5 names of the hens who had laid the 6 eggs..........

    and he gently suggested I needed to "get out a bit more....maybe? "

  5. I agree, it is useful to know which hen laid what in case of laying problems etc its easier to single out a hen. I also know from just looking at the eggs which one of our hens laid them, its just a case of careful studying and bonding with the hens really. Ok, perhaps I also need to get out more !! ;O

    Karen x

  6. Karen I agree it is a bit of bonding involved....but perhaps one can bond TOO much?

    as today Goldie came and found me in the garden, led me back across the garden to the nest box, disappeared inside it and then reappeared 5 mins later "announcing" she has laid an egg...which I duly collected, hot and sticky and a bit feathery from her bottom...( TMI? sorry.....)

    I REALLY need to get out more if my hens now expect to be able too tell me when they have laid....and also then expect me to stand around whilst they "do the deed"....

    I do, I really do!

  7. Hi there from across the pond. What varieties lay the different types of eggs? My egg cartons are beautifully filled with my Rhode Island Red's large creamy eggs, my Hamburgs' small, pointy pearly white eggs, my Wyandottes' samller creamy eggs, and my Auracana's blue-green eggs. I'd love to add the beautiful chocolate brown and speckledy speckled to the mix!


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.