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29 October 2014

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Big Egg

Shell Shocked

It's almost four times the size of an average hen's egg and weighs in at almost half a pound....

Egg Facts

A chicken can lay eggs at the rate of one per day.

Naturally one in 1,000 eggs has two yolks

The largest-ever hen's egg had five yolks and measured 22.5 cm in diameter.

The heaviest hen's egg ever recorded weighed 454g (which is around six times heavier than a regular large-grade egg) and had a double yolk and a double shell.

It is rare, but not impossible, for a young hen to produce an egg with no yolk at all.

A laying hen needs 24 to 26 hours to produce an egg and 30 minutes after laying starts all over again.

The record for the longest throw of a fresh egg, without breaking it, is 98.51 metres, set in Texas in 1978.

It's that time of year again when thoughts, and supermarket trolleys, are pointed in the direction of the giant chocolate Easter egg.  But at a farm in Pewsey an egg has been produced that is not only supersized but sugar free as well.

Weighing in at 200 grams (that's just under half a pound if you're asking) a colossal chicken's egg has been laid by a free ranger at an organic poultry farm just outside Pewsey.

The colossal 200g egg
The colossal 200g egg

The farm owned by a local curate, the Rev. Gerald Osbourne, is home to over 4,000 Colombian Blacktail hens whose organic eggs supply local branches of the supermarket Waitrose.

But the eggs hitting the shelves of the shops, it has to be said, aren't normally this big.

An average hen's egg, in fact, weighs in at just 62g but the monster found in the hen house at Lawn Farm is almost four times the size:

"We were shell shocked when we saw it," says Rev. Osbourne, "as was, probably, the poor hen that produced it.

"We prefer the hens to be laying medium to large eggs rather than whoppers.”

So how does a mega egg get laid? 

Rev. Gerald Osborne
Rev. Gerald Osborne

Well according to Rachel, who manages the hens for the Rev. Osbourne, it could be something to do with the amount of yellow stuff it contains:

"Young hens often lay 'double yolks' which result in larger eggs.  Hens usually release one egg a day but sometimes they get mixed up and more than one egg comes down the tube and the bird has to put a shell around it and fill it up."

So if double yolkers are big what does that mean the Curate's egg is likely to contain?

"This egg could be a triple yolker but we won't know for sure until we crack it open," says Rachel.

"Perhaps we will have an extra large omelette for Easter."

last updated: 22/07/08
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Why don't you know if ithas more than one yolk? you can buy double yolkers so obviously there are ways of finding out before you have to crack it open????

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