Monday, April 13, 2009

New Twist on the classic "chicken or the egg" question

Dennis and I celebrated Easter with his parents at the Baptist Church and then went for the traditional lunch at Outback Steakhouse. For some reason, I just LOVE that place. The appetizer salads that they have are just so good. Maybe it's the croutons. Or maybe I'm just always starving when we go there. ANYWAY, we went to church and a nice lunch with Dennis' parents and on the way home Dennis and I were discussing Easter Eggs. Then, I asked the age-old question: why does everyone talk about eggs on Easter...when rabbits don't lay eggs?

As the conversation progressed, I asked Dennis how baby chickens are conceived. He said that they have sex, just like other animals. I stopped him right there and told him that one of the guys from work (who has a farm, so he is an automatic expert) told us that the chicken (or hen) lays the egg and the shell is still sort-of soft. Then, the male chicken (rooster) comes along and drops his sperm in it. This is a time-sensitive process, I explained, because the rooster must make sure he drops his stuff in the egg before the shell hardens. Dennis started laughing at me and said that my explanation was ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY not true.

So, to solve this question, I did what any normal person would do: I googled it. (By the way, if you google "chicken sex", you will get some interesting results.) And, to my surprise (and Dennis' delight), I learned that chickens do have sex. And an unnecessary - and kind of disturbing - tidbit that I also learned is that the rooster will peck the hen in the head during sex...but this has nothing to do with conception. Guess it's just something they enjoy doing.

So, here's the scoop: hens lay eggs. We all knew that. The eggs we get at the grocery store are obviously unfertilized and for that to happen, the people raising the hens keep the roosters away during this egg-laying time. But, if the hen and the rooster (who are obviously in love, and are married) sneak away and some secretive hen-head-pecking occurs, we get a fertilized egg when the hen lays her next egg. A baby chicken is born.

Now, talk about some life-changing information. I bet you never thought that you'd be an eggspert on chicken sex.


bam said...

Krista, you are so funny, I have just laughed and laughed, only you would think of this! Only you would be concerned, I like bunnies better - but what a great topic and I have learned alot, I hope I can tell Connor and I won't forget how it came about.

Meimi said...

When the time comes for you to have the birds and bees talk with Connor, just tell him his dad pecked you on the head!

Krista said...

ha - love it! maybe they could do a lemonparty version for us!