Thursday, June 14, 2012
The roosters and the eggs
The day has come when I must have our little talk about the birds and the bees. When I say, "the birds", I am talking about "the chickens". And this talk doesn't include any bees.
Very intelligent people, who otherwise seem fully aware of how nature works, are confused about the rooster and the egg. The incident that forces me into having this discussion with you is a conversation I had recently with a Grown Man.
Grown Man: I think I would like to raise chickens in my backyard.
Me: Good! I think you would enjoy having them. Chickens are a little noisy, though.
Grown Man: We live on 2 acres so we aren't that close to our neighbors.
Me: Then you shouldn't have any problems with noise as long as you don't get a rooster. And you will love having the fresh eggs.
Grown Man: Well, you need a rooster to get eggs, don't you?
Dear reader, you fall into one of two groups. Either you are laughing at my little exchange with Grown Man, or you are sitting there saying to yourself, "What's so funny?"
For the "What's so funny?" crowd, here is my little lesson:
Girl chickens are like girl people. They have eggs. In girl people, we have an egg about once a month and then we get rid of it. Girl chickens get rid of their eggs every day or two. Sometimes an egg can get fertilized by a boy chicken or a boy person. When this happens, a baby will grow. In a person, the baby grows inside the mommy. In a chicken the baby grows inside the egg. But, in both cases, it takes a boy to make a baby. Without the boy, the girls still have eggs. Boys do not make the eggs, they only fertilize them.
So, the answer to the question, "You have to have a rooster to get eggs, don't you?", is a laughing, "NO!"
Of course, I didn't give the Grown Man a laughing NO. I very calmly replied, "No. Chickens lay eggs whether or not there are any roosters around."
Every time I am asked the rooster-egg question, I find myself attempting to answer in a way that won't cause the person to feel totally embarrassed when they get home and realize their ignorance. They will think about all of the millions of eggs that chickens lay each day and realize that, of course, there are not roosters going around..... you see what I mean.
They are going to feel really silly when the truth hits them.