It wasn’t Sal. Not the white egg – that was Sal, all along, as it turns out. The olive egg. The Most Beautiful Egg Ever Laid. Sal never laid a green egg. She’s not an Olive Egger. She’s an Andalusian Blue, who lays…white eggs.
Chalk it up to chicken-lady amateurism. When you get your day-old chicks, you know what you ordered, but you don’t know who is who, and many can look alike, especially to the novice. In our first batch of chicks, we got two grey birds. One of them, as a pullet (aka young lady chicken, to those of you also new on this chicken journey), looked an awful lot like the photo of the Blue Andalusian on the MyPetChicken website. The other one…looked like nothing we could place. Kind of a funky looking young thing. So I decided she must be the Olive Egger, which is a hybrid (aka mutt) chicken, which can look like…anything, who knows what (including the rather awkward-looking bird in their breed photo). Thus, we named the big grey bird Lucia, our Andalusian Blue. And we named the little grey bird Sal, after my colleague Sal Oliverio, who had picked her out of the baby chicken options as his adoptee (more on that story in Sal’s intro page).
Everything was fine and no one was the wiser, until, sadly, Lucia perished one day. The next day, we still got a white egg. What??? How??? Our only white egg layer in the flock (or so we thought) had left us. As I wrote in my last post, we were puzzling over which of our hens might have something wrong with her ‘pigmenter’ (the stage in egg laying when the pigment is applied to the shell). And, I stalked the laying box hoping to see which chicken laid a white one, and I found…it was Sal.
It makes no sense that an Olive Egger could lay a white egg, even with a funky pigmenter. Oliver Eggers are a hybrid of a blue egg layer and a brown egg layer. So, what gives?
Turns out there was nothing wrong with the chicken. There was something wrong with the chicken lady. I misidentified Sal and Lucia in the first place. Lucia was the Olive Egger (now that I know a bit more, I’d say she had a serious dose of Blue Favaucana in there). Sal is still doing everything exactly right. (We looked up more photos of Andalusian Blues, and, now that Sal is fully grown – yep. Duh.) And we never gave Lucia her due for laying those stunning olive spheres. My apologies to both you ladies.