Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cha-cha-cha Chicken!

Today is International Respect for Chickens Day - and I'll be the first one to admit that I am not a vegetarian, vegan. nor do I partake in any protests that boycott KFC. 

In fact, I rather enjoy the flavor of chicken skin- deep fried in a thick, crispy batter of seasoned flour. And the plump, white breast barbecued in a tasty mix of hickory-honey sauce. Mmmmmm...

But we are not here today to revel in the deliciousness of the chicken. We are here today to pay our tribute and respect for a terribly misunderstood farm animal.

Domestication of wild fowl began in Asia some 8,000 years ago. However, most experts think that chickens were not introduced to North America until some 5,000 years later.
It soon became a convenient source of food- one that could be used for both meat and eggs. 

The average hen lays nearly 265 table eggs a year. And it takes her 24-26 hours to lay a single egg. 
If fertilized by the male chicken (also known as the rooster, or cock), the eggs will hatch in 21 days. 
And in the United States alone, 80 million eggs are produced a year and over 9 billion chickens are raised for food.

And that's no yolk!
(Just had to throw that in there. I was getting painfully serious for a moment, wasn't I?)

I bet you didn't know that the egg laying process for a chicken begins in its eye. 

Chickens lay eggs only after receiving a light cue, either from natural sunlight entering a coop or artificial light illuminating a commercial egg hatchery. 
The light stimulates a photo-receptive gland near the chicken's eye, which in turn triggers the release of an egg cell from the chicken's ovary. 

I just wonder about the first human that decided to crack an egg and eat it. Especially witnessing its emergence from the birth canal into a bed of poopy straw. 
Did he say, "Wow! I think I'll eat that!" ? 
And later, did he drop a bit of raw egg on a hot rock by the fire and decide to taste its scrambled form? (It was probably the same fellow who decided to squeeze cow teats and enjoy a warm glass of milk.)

Last week, my husband and I were actually discussing the idea of raising chickens when he retires.

"Oh, won't that be cute! A little hen house with red window boxes and plump, white chickens laying on fresh nests...Dozens of eggs a week for breakfast, brunch and tuna salad!" I said excitedly.

"Yes- and they'll help eat table scraps and unwanted bugs - and we can butcher and freeze them, too," he said.

Of course, then came the reality of the whole giant chicken dream.
"  What about coyotes and foxes?"
"  Who will chicken-sit if we go on vacation?"
"  How many times during a snow storm will we have to check  their water and food supply?"
"  What if we become emotionally attached to them and can't force ourselves to eat them?"
"  What if the sky is really falling?"

"Forget it," I said, suddenly deciding that the price of eggs and fryers were not really that expensive. Considering.

I suppose the best way that chicken-eating-lovers like me can show their respect today, is by abstaining.  
Skip KFC and eat fish. 
Nix the chicken burrito and go for the beef. 
Choose tuna salad over chicken salad and ask for pancakes instead of eggs, sunny side up.
Give poultry a day of rest, celebration and respect!

 Now- let's shake our tail feathers, shall we?


Misha said...

Interesting facts! I already failed to abstain. :-( Had two eggs for breakfast.


sisterlinda said...

I love my chicken fried, baked and bar-b-qued! I like my eggs well done,hard boiled and scrambled!

Thanks for all the info. Sure glad that us humans don't reproduce through the eye...but maybe since I wear glasses would that be considered protection like a condom? And what nut DID decide to eat that egg that came out of a chicken butt into a poopy nest?

I will do my duty and be chicken free for today.I think spaghetti is on the menu for tonight. I am sure glad you didn't post anything gross about ground beef!

Beth Zimmerman said...


Our teacher asked us what our favorite animal was, and I said, "Fried
chicken." She said I wasn't funny, but she couldn't have been right,
everyone else in the class laughed.

My parents told me to always be truthful and honest, and I am. Fried
chicken is my favorite animal. I told my dad what happened, and
he said my teacher was probably a member of PETA. He said they love
animals very much. I do, too. Especially chicken, pork and beef.

Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principal's office. I told him what
happened, and he laughed too. Then he told me not to do it again.

The next day in class my teacher asked me what my favorite live animal
was. I told her it was chicken. She asked me why, just like she'd
asked the other children. So I told her it was because you could make
them into fried chicken. She sent me back to the principal's office
again. He laughed, and told me not to do it again.

I don't understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher
doesn't like it when I am. Today, my teacher asked us to tell her what
famous person we admire most.

I told her, "Colonel Sanders".

Guess where I am now.

I didn't write this. Not sure who did. Just seemed appropriate to repeat it here! Love ya, Rae!

Joanne said...

My Husband and I have had the same conversation and ended up with the exact same conclusion.....even so I would still like to have chickens! Great post. Blessings, Joanne

MAFW said...

I love all kinds of chickens!

Stephen Tremp said...

We love Chicken Little. Its a family favorite. And I was just writing in my MS about a Vice Admiral retiring, buying a ranch with his wife, and cleaning the chicken $h!+ off his front porch.

Car Title Loans said...

Chicken Little was a far underrated movie, if you ask me. My mom is thinking about raising chickens, too. For the eggs, not the little chickies themselves. I think it takes a lot of work and I'm glad she has the patience for it- but I think you have the right idea.