West Virginia teen discovers state record egg in family’s henhouse

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SPENCER, W.Va. — On a routine trip to the family chicken coop to gather eggs, Roane County High School student Jacob LeMasters was shocked to find something totally unexpected — a 5.53-ounce (156.77-gram) egg that easily topped the previous state record of 4.93 ounces.

The egg is more than double the size of a typical jumbo egg from the grocery store, and it just might be a national record.

Research conducted by West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) employee Chuck Dransfield turned up a Guinness-certified world record of 7.09 ounces found in China in 2009, but nothing bigger than the LeMasters’ egg in the United States.

Reports of exceptionally large eggs surface periodically. And while many of them were close to the LeMasters’ egg, none of them surpassed it.

That is until just a couple of days after the LeMasters’ egg was weighed at the WVDA laboratories at Guthrie.

Curiously, a Douglas City, Calif., farmer reported that one of his 400 hens laid an astonishing 6.6-ounce (188-gram) egg. However, he has not been able to have his egg verified by the California Department of Agriculture.

Teen’s effort

LeMasters said a teacher gave him four chicks last year. The family flock has now grown to 15.

His mother, Paula, said Jacob has impressed her with the affection he displays for the chickens and the way he takes care of them.

“I always enjoy seeing these products come to the Department for measurement, whether it’s eggs, fruits or vegetables. Jacob’s egg is certainly the largest I’ve seen yet,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Douglass. “We encourage anyone who thinks they may have a record breaker to let us know.”

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