Gardener's chicken lays one in 25 million triple yolk egg

Ben Stokes chicken Polly has laid a triple yolk egg

Ben Stokes holding Polly the chicken which laid the rare triple yolker. - Credit: Ben Stokes

You are more likely to be struck by lightning or become a saint than find an egg that has a triple yolk - unless you're this Norfolk gardener.

Ben Stokes, from Alburgh, near Harleston, and his daughters were stunned to discover their blue bell hen Polly had laid an egg containing a rare triple yolk - which is widely said to have a likelihood of one in 25 million.

Ben Stokes with his daughters Heidi and Courtney

Ben Stokes with his daughters Heidi and Courtney have celebrated the 1 in 25 million occurance of Polly laying a triple yolk egg. - Credit: Ben Stokes

The family owns four chickens, Polly, Molly, Holly and Sooty, which Mr Stokes bought with his Christmas bonus for his two daughters Heidi, 13, and Courtney, 16. 

It was Heidi that made the discovery on March 27 when she, preparing to make fried eggs, cracked the egg into the bowl to discover not one yolk, but three.

Until the addition of the 50 to 59 balls, you had more chance of winning the lottery, at odds of one in 14 million, than cracking a triple yolk.

Ben sharing the news of the triple yolk on WhatsApp.

Ben sharing the news of the triple yolk on WhatsApp. - Credit: Ben Stokes

Mr Stokes, a self employed gardener, said: "I heard a voice from the kitchen saying 'Dad, it's got three yolks'. After researching a little I found out the chance of a triple yolker is 25 million to one and I thought people should hear about it. 

"We fried it in a pan. It was sad doing it to such a creation but nothing worse than the smell of a gone off egg in the fridge, however special the egg might be.

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"I got the chickens at Christmas, fed up with lockdown I used my Christmas bonus and bought four chickens and put them in a coop. We get a lot of double yolkers, but only one triple. 

"I was excited about it given it's such a rare occurrence."

The hens are now between 26 and 28 weeks old and started laying when they were 21 weeks old. 

Ben Stokes with Polly the chicken, which laid the egg containing a triple yolk.

Ben Stokes with Polly the chicken, which laid the egg containing a triple yolk. - Credit: Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes and his daughters have four chickens Polly, Molly, Holly and Sooty.

Ben Stokes and his daughters have four chickens Polly, Molly, Holly and Sooty. - Credit: Ben Stokes

He added: "The reason it's 25 million to one is if it's going to happen it is when the chickens are young. We get small eggs one day and a massive egg another day."

Mark Gorton, director of Traditional Norfolk Poultry, and a member of the NFU's Poultry Board, said if the family had cracked the secret to triple yolkers they should let the rest of the industry know.

He said: "I haven't come across triple yolker eggs. It certainly can happen but I have never come across a triple one.

"You can make a lovely cake out of it." 


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