August 08, 2007

Chicken-Egg Fertilization: WTF?

Have you ever really wondered what, if any, are the exact differences between chickens, hens and roosters? Like, are hens and roosters both chickens? I know i've eaten chicken and i've eaten a succulent Cornish game hen in my day. But I've never ordered up a rooster du jour.

And secondly, have you ever wondered whether or not the eggs you scramble are embryonic or just part of a hen's monthly, unfertilized menstrual cycle? And, if so, do roosters fertilize eggs before or after the hen lays them? Well, I obviously have. And I've heard all sorts of theories--from chicken/hen/rooster owners themselves even. So, in the name of discovery, I am now setting off on a mission involving everything "chicken and egg," and I will surely share my findings with the world (or, at least with the 5 people that read my blog)... BEGAWK!

In the meantime, feel free to chirp in (or squawk) if you have any insight.

135 comments:

Cadien said...

Good luck with the egg quest. Maybe you should query that "berd" guy responsible for hanging the brightly colored chicks at key intersections all over town. I feel like he may have some insight into this and/or a number of life's head-scratchers.

Relax said...

please figure out which came first chix or egg...

Reverend Mike said...

OK, I've done the research. I've never actually seen a rooster mount a hen, but indeed thats how fertilization takes place:

"When a rooster finds food he may call the other chickens to eat it first. He does this by clucking in a high pitch as well as picking up and dropping the food. This behavior can also be observed in mother hens, calling their chicks. In some cases the rooster will drag the wing opposite the hen on the ground, while circling her. This is part of chicken courting ritual. When a hen is used to coming to his "call" the rooster may mount the hen and proceed with the fertilization."

fiestascramble said...

I don't believe it! I am digging into this further.

Sarita said...

Ok so here's the "breakout" from your local farm girl.

Hens and chickens are one in the same - normally the hen is younger and more fatty (hence better for roasting and baking) - chickens are older and slightly tougher and used for fying by my backwoods familia.

Roosters are never ever cooked as they are tough and gross.

Eggs are indeed just embryos waiting for roosters lovin to make a complete young'n - unless of course you buy the fertilized eggs from Whole Foods or Traders.

I can't say what came first as I wasn't there ...but my money goes on the egg.

Anonymous said...

According to Genesis, God created the animals and then told them to, "Be fruitful and multiply." Therefore, I contend that the chicken came first.

Anonymous said...

Did God speak to the animals in a deep manly, james early jonesy voice too? And was that about the time that Adam and Eve were running around with the dinosaurs.

As a chicken owner I concur with Sarita. Indeed there's some Rooster on Hen lovin' and in the mean time without a rooster we're eating non-fertilized eggs from our yard. In addition they tend toward polygamy so there's usually just a couple roosters to those many many hens. They hens hang out and lay eggs for a couple of years and then they're cooked for dinner.

anonymous said...

okay, this may be a stupid question, but here it goes, is it true that when a hen lays an egg, it comes out big side first because otherwise the exit may snap and scare the other chickens?!

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