I fully expect my wife to start clucking one of these days.
Whenever we go out to eat, for breakfast, she either has scrambled or eggs “over-easy” and for dinner, actual chicken.
I’m afraid if she stops shaving her legs, she may sprout feathers.
Don’t get me wrong, I like chicken and eat my fair share of eggs, too.
But beef, pork and the occasional fish give my taste buds a break from the steady diet of chicken that my wife is leaning towards.
She’s evidently not alone.
We Americans eat 8 billion chickens very year.
That figures out to about 80 pounds per person.
We Americans only consume 63 pounds of beef annually.
More chickens are raised and killed for food than all other land animals COMBINED.
We also consume 50 billion chicken eggs a year in the USA, or about 250 per person.
Ninety-five percent of restaurants in America have chicken in one form or the other on the menu.
I think we pick on chickens because scientists say they are the closest living relative to the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Take that fearsome T-Rex!
Chickens, or Gallus gallus domesticus are actually part of the pheasant family.
They were originally bred and domesticated 8,000 years ago for fighting, not for food.
Must be that tie to the T-Rex that developed that thought-pattern.
If chickens were actually more like their ancestral roots, they could run this planet because there are 25 billion of them in the world, more than any bird species.
That’s why some folks have “alektorophobia”, a fear of chickens.
The biggest chicken was a 23 pound 3 ounce clucker from Australia, named “Big Snow”.
I’ll let you gather those eggs.
My wife is probably an”alektorophyle” or a lover of chickens.
Or at least wings and legs.
With salt and vinegar.
Chickens were once considered a sacred animal, symbolizing the sun.
In the Middle Ages, chicken soup was considered an aphrodisiac.
Funny, I never considered that while looking at the Campbell soup kids.
They can hit speeds of 9 miles an hour running but that ability to turn on a dime is what really makes them tough to capture barehanded.
A chicken has stayed aloft for 13 seconds and traveled 301 feet, too.
Hey! The Wright Brothers stayed aloft 59 seconds and flew 852 feet the first time they flew.
Today, chickens are bred to fulfill our meat desires.
In the 1990’s, 10% of a chicken’s total weight was breast meat; today more than 21%.
When we’re not actually eating the chicken, we like those eggs.
It takes 4 pounds of chicken feed to produce one dozen eggs.
The record-holding layer was a clucker that plopped out 7 eggs in one day and 371 in a year.
A regular omelet machine!
One egg was found to have 9 yolks.
How would you like to “sunny-side up” that egg?
The largest egg I could find was one that weighed 12 ounces and had 2 yolks.
Chicken eggs can come in colors of white, brown, green, pink or blue which has the potential to cut into the Easter eggs coloring profits.
So why do we eat so many chicken eggs and not so much the shelled offerings of ducks, geese or turkeys?
Hens aren’t as maternal so they don’t normally put up a fight when you gather those eggs.
However, remember when it comes to ham and eggs, the chicken is involved but the pig is committed.
Having gathered eggs as a youth at my Uncle Chuck and Aunt Helen’s farm, some of those hens would not move easily or without loud clucking and literal ruffled feathers.
More often than not, they’d peck at my shoelaces which would get “mucked up” with the “chicken bubble gum” on the floor of the hen house.
However, remember when it comes to ham and eggs, the chicken is involved but the pig is committed
By the way, the waste from one hen in a year is capable of producing enough electricity to light a 100 watt bulb for 5 hours.
Most chickens live 5-7 years but there’s a report about “Muffy”, a Red Quilled Muffed American Red Game hen that lived to the age of 22.
That’s something to crow about!
Chickens also have 4-5 ties on each foot which would make buying flip-flops a challenge.
Chickens sort of get a bum rap when it comes to intelligence.
Maybe that’s because they can be tricked into thinking a day is 28 hours long with creative lighting.
They lay bigger and stronger eggs.
Makes for better egg production.
But a chicken is actually smarter than human babies less than 6 months old.
Chickens can see, and dream in full color and they actually see color better than you and I do.
There are also chickens that listen to classical music and they lay bigger and heavier eggs but not all like the record-breaker that was 12 and one-quarter inches around.
The top poultry states in America are Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina.
My sister used to have a friend who ran a big chicken operation.
When my sister paid a visit, she remarked, “Ooh, what’s that smell?”
Her friend said, “Profits!”
So, which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Scientists believe a chicken-like bird, or proto-chicken, laid an egg fertilized by a proto-rooster and through the genetic process, chickens eventually came about.
So I guess the egg came first.
Or did it?