Ottawa

Giant egg laid by Ottawa hen

A hen in Ottawa's eastern outskirts has squeezed out an egg as heavy as a baseball.

XXXL, but doesn't crack record

The egg has almost three times the mass of a standard medium chicken egg. ((Courtesy of Laurie McCannell))
A hen in Ottawa's eastern outskirts has squeezed out an egg as heavy as a baseball.

The egg, which has a mass of 143 grams — almost three times the size of a standard medium egg and within the 141-148 g range for a Major League Baseball ball — was laid Friday by a red shaver hen on Laurie McCannell's farm in Vars, Ont., a village that is now part of Ottawa's east end.

The egg was laid by a red shaver hen who is about four years old. ((Courtesy of Laurie McCannell))
McCannell said it was one of 80 on the farm she bought two years ago that she estimates are about four years old.

Normally, she said, hens are kept only until they are about two years old and they tend to lay larger eggs, but less frequently, as they get older.

It's not unusual for her hens to lay eggs too large to fit in a "jumbo" egg carton, she said.

"But this one is ridiculously big."

Jumbo is the largest egg size recognized by Agriculture Canada, and includes all eggs over 70 grams.

McCannell said the hen was fed normal chicken feed obtained from the Embrun Co-op as well as spent brewer's grain from Heritage Brewery in Ottawa and a little bit of oyster shell to make the egg shells strong.

Standard egg sizes

                                                                                                                                                       
    Source: Agriculture and Agri-food Canada 
 Size Mass
Jumbo70 g or more
Extra Large63 g or more
Large56 g or more
Medium49 g or more
Small42 g or more
PeeweeLess than 42 g

1896 record is 340 g

McCannell had been hoping the egg would break a record.

However, it seems the record set in 1896 still stands.

Guinness World Records reports that in that year, a black minorca at Mr. Stafford's Damsteads Farm in Mellor in Lancashire, U.K.,  laid a five-yolk 340-gram egg.

Nevertheless, McCannell's egg is unusually huge, said Laurent Souligny, chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada, the national egg marketing agency.

"I was quite surprised to hear that a hen could lay an egg that size," said Souligny, who has been in the egg business since 1982.

He's never seen one that big on his farm and isn't aware of any others that have been reported in Canada, but does not know if the egg sets a Canadian record.

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