Sunday, July 6, 2014

Gallus gallus Domesticus


Happy National Fried Chicken Day!

How much do you know about chickens?  Did you know they originated in South Asia and were used  as cock fighting entertainment while both their meat and eggs were totaling ignored as a food source?

Apparently it was in India when someone got smart enough to figure out you could eat these birds!  This food trend worked its way westward and by the 5th century B.C. the Greeks were making omelets and eating chicken.

Today there are more than 24 billion chickens world wide; the most populous species on earth! Chickens are deemed highly social animals and thrive in flocks.  When the rooster wants to attract a mate he will do a fancy little jig around his potential mate and dip his wing that is nearest to the female....this apparently makes the female very horny and the two love birds go at least for ten seconds or so.

I guess ten seconds of bliss is not so bad when your life span is from five to ten years max.  However, the Guinness Book of World Records document one old cock who lived to the age of 16 and died of heart failure (hopefully not during that "ten seconds of bliss".

Chicken "language" is not much to admire.  Hens will cluck to call their chicks and are known to cluck the loudest while laying an egg...but then wouldn't you if you had to eject something five times the size of the applicable orifice?  A Rooster crows at dawn, not because he wants to be your alarm clock, but because he wants to let everyone know that he's announcing this is his territory.

Chickens are not that smart and will lay their eggs pretty much anywhere.  Farmers often place plastic eggs  or golf balls in a nesting area to show the hen where he wants those eggs deposited.  And he would appreciate her not being so damned loud about it.

While chickens in North America primarily lay white or brown eggs, depending on their feather coloration, in South America chickens have blue plumage and lay blue-green eggs.

World wide chickens lay over 50 million tons of eggs per year so you can imagine the fowl squawking that those hens put out.  

Most chickens provide eight pieces per meal, two legs, two thighs, two breasts and two wings...unless your KFC....they'll give you half of half a breast and sell it to you at full price.  And McDonald's can mix enough mystery meat to produce enough chicken nuggets to feed an entire army airborne division.

Happy Yardbird Day, folks!


  1. Yes, Happy National Chicken Day! Important, unless you are the chicken, of course.
    I read somewhere that chickens designed to eat, as opposed to the egg laying variety, live only six weeks! Had no clue there were so many of them! You are a wealth of knowledge!

  2. Morning Jerry...yep, I'm a fountain of totally useless information! :)