This past Sunday, I attended the Boston Poultry Expo. One of the cardinal rules during these shows is that you do not converse or interact with the judges. In fact, people are required to keep a certain distance from them. It is very easy to spot a judge. They don a lab coat or jacket with official badges and tagging. I enjoyed watching from a far as the judges selected their top picks. Later in the afternoon nearing the end of the show, I recognized one of the judges standing near me in street clothes. I decided to strike up a conversation.
He is from New York, grew up on a farm with poultry and has been involved in his local 4-H for years. He has been raising chickens his entire life and now his adult son is one of the best breeders in the country. His pride oozed as he told me his relationship with chickens. I listened closely, I could tell that I was going to learn something important. What he told me next amazed me. He told me that you can tell what sex of chicken will hatch out of an egg based upon the shape of it’s egg. According to him, eggs that have rounded tops will be females and the eggs that have pointy tops are the males. He further went on to tell me that a researcher from Cornell University did not believe him and tested his theory in the lab. On day 23, he received a phone call from the researcher, in shock that it was true! I knew of those eggs. Sometimes eggs are just too incredibly pointy not to take notice.
I came home and took some eggs out of the fridge. I had a bowl of mostly Silkie eggs, as the larger girls were still molting.
Yes, you can see a difference. Here is a pointy egg in the back and a rounded one in the front.
When I had heard what this judge was telling me at the show, I had to call my friend over to hear this too. This information was exciting and intriguing to say the least. After we finished our conversation with the judge, I told her that we had to try this experiment on our own. She owns two incubators. For her next hatch, she is going to put all pointy eggs in one and all rounded eggs in another. I, for one, will surely be counting down those 21 days to see what hatches from the eggs.
Photo Credits: Tilly’s Nest