Adelaide, the hen who laid banana-shaped eggs

Adelaide the Hen (aka Adelaide Benteggs) lived on the farm of Wilfred Waterman in Poole, England. She first came to the attention of the press in 1957, when she began laying banana-shaped eggs. Farmer Waterman put her in solitary confinement, worried that whatever was causing her to lay such eggs "might be catching."

Experts from the British Ministry of Agriculture subsequently x-rayed and otherwise examined Adelaide, but couldn't find anything obviously wrong with her that was causing her to lay the banana-shaped eggs.

Adelaide, however, kept laying the odd eggs — hundreds of them — and as a result became a celebrity hen. She appeared on TV and helped raise over £1000 for charity.

When she died, on August 11, 1961, it made international news. It was reported that she died quietly, sitting on her nest, after laying another curved egg. Officials from the British Museum expressed an interest in performing an autopsy on her, but before they could do so Farmer Waterman had her cremated. He kept the ashes in an urn on his sideboard.

Despite her fame, I've been unable to find a single picture anywhere of either Adelaide or one of her curved eggs, which I find puzzling. I would have thought that press photographers would have loved to document such an oddity.

Spokane Daily Chronicle - Mar 1, 1957

The Decatur Herald - Aug 12, 1961

     Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 17, 2016
     Category: Animals | 1950s | Bananas

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