The art and craft of egg showing

Ducks 2-5-19 SM Farm

Egg showing has always been popular in Great Britain, with a lot of egg only shows being held, and now the sector is booming on this side of the Irish Sea as well.

The beauty about egg showing is that you do not have to keep pure breed poultry or waterfowl. Egg showing is shown in classes of colour and size of eggs, unless you enter a breed class to show eggs.

You can enter a decorated egg, this helps to get more people involved in showing as many people start out with egg showing and then move on to showing poultry.

At the English National Show there are currently 136 classes for eggs. These range from single eggs to magnificent plates of six eggs of one colour – a very difficult achievement. In addition there are egg classes for Junior/Juvenile exhibitors together with waterfowl egg classes and, of course, contents classes which include specific classes for large and bantam eggs where they are assessed for both external and internal qualities.

Various breed clubs have their own eggs classes such as Araucana (blue eggs), Marans (brown eggs), Welsummer (red-brown eggs), Minorca/Leghorn (white eggs) and then there are classes for three distinct coloured eggs with separate classes for large and bantam – usually one brown, one white and one blue or green egg.

The latter always creates an attractive and interesting display but is extremely difficult to master due to the exhibitor having to perfectly match three separate eggs supplied by three different birds!

Finally, some shows offer an award for the exhibitor gaining the most egg points in the show based on a system whereby a first prize attracts the maximum number of points with the second, third and fourth prize receiving an ever-decreasing number.

This ‘Most Points in Show’ accolade is much coveted and, for the prolific egg exhibitor who may not always capture the top honours, it comes as a fitting reward for their endeavours. From a show organiser’s point of view, it also helps to stimulate support for the egg classes and the show income, of course, by encouraging exhibitors to enter more plates of eggs.

Many poultry shows, especially the ones associated with the summer agricultural shows, have classes for eggs variously described as ‘decorated’, ‘displayed’, or ‘painted’.

So what does a good egg look like?

It is not as easy as it looks to get the perfect egg or arrive at six eggs that match perfectly – in fact, it is a lot harder than you might think (see pictures from some of past few years’ shows and also the perfect egg picture).

For more information please visit the Poultry Club of Great Britain website or contact any of the local shows.

Standard for size and weight

of eggs

Size: Mere size is not a deciding point but should be appropriate for the breed and species. A pullet’s normal egg when the bird starts to lay is 49.6g (13oz) and increases quickly to 56.7g (2oz), exceeding that after several months of production. There is another increase

in the hen egg after the moult. Bantam eggs should not exceed 42.5g (11oz). Eggs weighing in excess of this should be passed.

Turkey and duck eggs weigh between 70.9g (21oz) and 92.2g (31oz). Bantam duck eggs should not exceed 63.8g (24oz). Goose eggs vary with breed. Light geese lay eggs from 141.8g (5oz) and heavy breed goose eggs can weigh up to 198.6g (7oz).

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