ONE family chookhouse at Forest Hills in Tamworth is cock-a-hoop when it comes to the business of laying eggs.
The Sayad family’s chooks have cracked the big time lately, but this week’s honour has gone to a hen who’s laid an egg the size of your fist.
It’s so big it won’t fit into an ordinary egg carton and weighs in at a hefty 160 grams – which is nearly three times the size of your normal goog.
“The kids found it on Tuesday. They usually go up the back when they get home from school to collect the eggs,” dad Ray Sayad said.
“I thought it was a yoke – yeah, joke – at first.”
The Sayads inherited 10 Isa brown chicks in January and the girls have been laying since about June.
For the past couple of months, Ray’s found a larger egg in the chookhouse nesting box about once a week.
Until now, though, they’ve only weighed in at 100g, but this one has cracked it for the record.
“I just feel for the poor chicken. What a painful experience,” he said.
“No, we can’t work out which one it is, although I’ve noticed one sitting a bit longer and I think now, gee, she might have been having a bit of trouble.”
The public works engineer describes it as big as a fist and says there doesn’t appear to be any official record of size, although bigger eggs have weighed in at about 110g.
The chookyard is just your normal, run-of-the-mill henhouse, too; up the backyard of the family home on a half-hectare (one-acre) block.
The poultry diet is pretty plain, too – kitchen scraps from three families, a few garden weeds, and a bit of chook crumble Ray buys at the produce store.
“Nothing special, jut normal chook food,” he said.
So far, the larger eggs have also been normal, single-yolkers. This time, the big egg is being preserved.
Just like oldtimers used to do when making Easter eggs from the chooks, they’ll put a couple of little pinpricks in the end, blow out the contents, and keep the shell intact.
“It’s a cracker of a story, so we need to keep a bit of it,” Ray said.