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Shell-shocking: Hen lays an egg a staggering SIX times bigger than normal



By Andrew Levy

Last updated at 4:19 PM on 24th February 2010




She's only a beginner, so perhaps Matilda the hen didn't know what she was doing.

But the fourth egg she has ever produced turned out to be a whopper - six times heavier than a normal one.

The monster egg is just over 3.5ins long, has a circumference of more than 8ins, and weighs 4.2oz.

Hen's eggs are typically 2.3ins long, have a circumference of 5.5ins, and weigh a measly 0.7oz.



Monster: The giant egg laid by Matilda the hen dwarfs her other efforts. The egg was only the fourth she ever laid


Shell-shocked owner Mark Cornish said: 'It's only the fourth egg Matilda's ever laid and her first in two weeks. She must have been saving up for it.

'My eyes almost popped out of my head when I first saw it. We might have to see about entering her in the record books.

'It's just ridiculous to look at - anyone would think it was a goose egg, it's that big.

'My first thought was whether Matilda was okay after laying such a huge egg but she seems completely non-plussed by it all.'

Mr Cornish, 36, and his partner Denise Bartram, 42, have kept four hens in their garden in Ipswich, Suffolk, for the past six months.

'We quite fancied the idea of having our own eggs on a regular basis,' he said. 'More and more people are doing the same - it's a good way of cutting costs to beat the credit crunch.'



Proud: Matilda poses for a shot with her owner Mark Cornish in Ipswich, Suffolk


Matilda was given her name because the couple thought it was 'striking and unusual' but the others - Phyllis, Polly and Aida - have been named after members of their families.

The purebred well-summer dark-tanned Dutch breed chickens roam free during the day and are fed on a diet of peelings and wheat.

Mr Cornish said he had no idea why Matilda suddenly produced the giant egg on Monday.

'We've certainly not been feeding her anything unusual lately. I suppose they lead a happy life so may Matilda was just feeling pleased with herself,' he said.

'The egg itself is really delicate and has a wafer-thin shell. I'm keeping it safe for now but we may have to eat it eventually.'

Sadly, Matilda's efforts will not propel her to the top of the egg-laying league.

The heaviest hen's egg ever recorded weighed 16oz. It had a double yolk and a double shell.

And the largest egg, which had five yolks, had a diameter of 8.6 ins.

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