A relatively new hobby has led to some rare and unique experiences.
Loretta and David Young decided in March 2009 to endeavor into a new hobby -- raising chickens -- at their home near the Clay/Putnam County line.
"We love the country life. Since we were retiring, we bought a new home and got the girls a year ago," Loretta said in a recent interview. "(The chickens) are so interesting, I get a kick out of visiting them."
The Youngs collect 12-18 eggs a day during their chats with the hens, which are mainly "heavy breed" buff and light Orpingtons and Red Stars. Loretta said she enjoys talking to the timid and laid back chickens, which she feels, understand on some level when spoken to.
"You have to go out three or four times a day in this kind of weather to check on them. They really like rolled oats," she said. "You start talking to them like they are people."
During one of those chats on Jan. 5, David discovered a larger than normal egg, measuring 8.5-by-7 inches. It was out of the nest, lying under a heat lamp on the floor.
"It was 'Big Girl' who laid the egg," Loretta said. "It was so big, we were worried the chicken who laid it would have died afterwards. But Big Girl is fine."
Loretta spent the next few weeks showing the unbroken large egg to astonished friends and curiosity about its contents grew.
"We figured it would have four or five yolks inside," Loretta said. "We were not expecting what happened next. I'm glad I wanted witnesses."
On Jan. 29, surrounded by a small crowd of friends and on-lookers at Fun Time Scuba, 551 East National Avenue, Brazil, Loretta cracked the egg open for everyone to see.
Inside the first egg were two large yolks and a jumbo-sized brown egg. Inside the jumbo brown egg was a single, yet very large, yolk.
"We were completely shocked. Even after so long, it still smelled fresh as could be," Loretta said. "We were afraid to eat it after being taken in and out of the refrigerator so many times for people to see."
Reports of eggs discovered within eggs have been documented as far back as the late 1800s, but are considered extremely rare.
However, scientists believe the oddity occurs when an egg that is almost ready to be laid, for whatever reason, reverses direction back into the hen's oviduct and starts the process all over again.
Although Big Girl continued to lay unusually large eggs, according to Loretta, the light Orpington hen died last week. The Youngs couldn't help but wonder if another large egg was the cause of her death.
"It's been an amazing experience and I do miss her," Loretta told The Brazil Times. "I guess Big Girl, at least in Clay County, was the egg layer of the year."