Somers hen lays a whopper of an egg

By Jennifer Holloway - Staff Writer
Somers - posted Thu., Jul. 7, 2011
Tom Mehl holds up an egg weighing 4.2 ounces that one of his hens laid in mid-June. Photos by Jennifer Holloway.
Tom Mehl holds up an egg weighing 4.2 ounces that one of his hens laid in mid-June. Photos by Jennifer Holloway.

Open most refrigerators and you will find a carton of eggs. Open Tom and Judy Mehl’s refrigerator and you will find a carton of egg - one oversized, brown egg.

Weighing 4.2 ounces after it was laid in mid-June, the oval gem now sits in a converted carton for safekeeping.

“We had one last year, but we didn’t think much of it,” said Tom Mehl, pulling out a picture of another egg, weighing exactly 4.2 ounces also.

The Mehls have raised chickens for more than 20 years and currently have around 40. The first chicks came home with their daughter after a school project ended.

“I always said I wanted to do something like this,” Mehl said. “She came in and said, ‘Here are the chicks you always wanted.’”

The chickens are around solely to lay eggs - white, brown, even blue and green from the few Easter egg chickens he has.

“We don’t eat them,” Mehl said. “They’re more like pets.”

Last month, during his nightly collecting trip to the chicken house in his backyard, Mehl discovered yet another larger-than-life egg. He was unable to determine which hen laid the egg, as they all share 16 nest boxes, though Mehl says they will only lay in about four of them. This time his wife took the egg and weighed it on a postage scale. The Mehls have an egg scale, but it has a maximum weight of 2.5 ounces - the top limit of an “extra large” egg classification.

The couple has contacted the Guinness Book of World Records in the hopes they have broken a record for the largest egg laid by a hen. A recent search of the record book’s website returned a hit for the “largest egg from a bird living,” which came from an ostrich in Sweden in May 2008. The ostrich egg weighed more than 5 pounds, but it is unclear whether the famous publication has a current record for largest egg from a hen.

Judy contacted the company and has sent in the appropriate paperwork and pictures documenting the size. For now, they will continue selling eggs out of their home and at the Somers Farmers’ Market.

And the famous egg? Eventually, Mehl said, the couple will probably just eat it.

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