If a newspaper reporter witnesses it, then it has to be so.
But did the reporter see the chicken that supposedly laid the egg?
“Lyman Colson is the owner of a hen that produced an egg one day last week which was shown to your representative,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on May 8th, 1885. “It measures six-and-one-half by eight-and-one-fourth inches in circumference.”
Newspaper verification was not necessary for a Fort Ann phenomenon, as undertaker D.P. Carter preserved the evidence.
“He … has a four-legged chicken, nearly half grown, that he has embalmed and is in a good state of preservation,” The Granville Sentinel reported on August 27th, 1886.
A 19th century newspaper joked that the New York state Legislature soon would require hens to lay standardized two-ounce eggs.
“There is a bill before the Legislature which requires that ‘a dozen eggs shall be equivalent to a pound and a half avoirdupois (standard 16-ounce pound.) As the bill will pass, our hens may as well begin to accustom themselves to laying eggs of the above weight.”
Jessie Butler of Graphite, a mining hamlet in the town of Hague, was trying to solve the mystery of how he suddenly had four more roosters in his flock.
“Jessie is certainly honest and thought they might be his neighbors’ (roosters),” the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported.
He called over neighbors Zera Frasier and Allie Armstrong to inquire if either was missing roosters.
The three of them got to counting and discovered Butler had four fewer young pullet hens.
Someone had secretly made a “one-sided” swap.
Some chicken and egg stories are less believable than others.
“A gentleman living on Quaker Street has a near-sighted hen which recently ate saw dust supposing it to be corn meal, then went and laid a nest of bureau knobs, sat on them three weeks and hatched out a complete set of parlor furniture,” The Granville Sentinel quipped on August 7th, 1876.
On May 22nd, 1922, The Post-Star reported that W.W. Patterson, operator of the Moses Hill store in Fort Edward, owned a hen that laid three “most unusual” eggs the previous week.
“When the outer shell is broken, there is a complete egg within as well as another perfect shell, containing all the requirements of a real egg. These eggs are termed by the storekeeper as two-in-one eggs and are finding a ready market at a truly two-in-own price.”
The life of a chicken is fraught with potential peril, according to an entertaining student essay the Ticonderoga Sentinel published on July 18th, 1874.
“A chicken in the spring time which was put to hatch in March, if it has good luck, and don’t die of the pip, or gaps, or the cholera morbus, or get drowned, will be big enough to sell to the restaurant about in June,” the student wrote.
“They will fetch about $6 a dozen, and a chicken is more popular when it is a spring chicken. … A spring chicken is a luxurious thing for to broil and mix up with toast. That’s what I have heard.”
A Google search for Siamese Omelette turned up several recipes for the Thai food entrée, none of which called for conjoined chicken eggs.
“A hen in Marshall, Ill., laid two eggs of common size which were united by a cylindrical tube an inch long and half and inch in diameter,” The Granville Sentinel reported on November 26th, 1886.
You’ve heard about a fox in the henhouse. How about a hen at the fish hatchery?
“A curious mode of fish-hatching is said to be followed in China,” the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on July 25, 1874. “Having collected the necessary spawn from the water’s edge, the fishermen place a certain quantity in an empty hen’s egg, which is sealed up with wax and put under a setting hen. After some days they break the egg and empty the fry into water well warmed by the sun, and there nurse them until they are sufficiently strong to be turned into a lake or river.”
This spunky hen far outlived the average five-to-10-year lifespan.
“An 18-year-old hen recently died in Oskaloosa, Ia.,” The Granville Sentinel reported on March 11th, 1887.
Photo of eggs courtesy Wikimedia user.