Need to lighten up your story a bit? Try a little trivia.
These factoids are taken from Loyl Stromberg’s book entitled Poultry Of The World published in 1996 by Silvio Mattacchione & Co. of Port Perry, Ontario.
- Originally, the English word “chick” was the singular and “chicken” was the plural. Today, “chick” means a newly hatched chicken and many a chicken are “chickens”.
- The ancient Britons were trying to imitate the “cheep cheep” sound of chicks when they developed the old English words “cicen” and “ciceu”.
- “Fowl” comes from the Old English “fugel”.
- “Poultry” developed from the Latin “pullus”, Italian and Spanish “pollo”, the Old French “pouletrie” and the Modern French “poule”.
- In 3,000 B.C., chickens were domesticated in Asia and around 800 B.C., domesticated poultry appeared in the area of the Mediterranean and regions of Europe.
- In 390 B.C., Ancient Rome was saved by honking geese that alerted the Romans to an impending invasion of Gaels.
- Among the heaviest chicken eggs ever reported was one weighing 16 ounces with a double yolk and double shell. It was laid by a White Leghorn in Vineland, New Jersey in 1956.
- Among the largest chicken eggs ever recorded is one of almost 12 ounces with five yolks. It was over a foot long and nine inches wide. It was laid by a Black Minorca in Lancashire, England, in 1986.
- Among the highest number of yolks in a chicken egg is nine, reported to exist in Mount Morris, New York, in 1971.
- Egg yolk is used in tempera painting. Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper was painted with egg yolk paint.
- Henry IV of France wanted everyone to have a chicken in the pot on Sunday.
- There is approximately one chicken for every person in the world.
- A bride may step on an egg to ensure marital happiness.
Here are some feather sayings, some nice and some not-so-nice:
- Everyone wants to have a little nest egg upon retirement
- Don’t count your chickens before they hatch
- He has a feather in his cap
- Someone was chicken-hearted, or you could just call out and say, “chicken, chicken, chicken…”
- That’s as scarce as hen’s teeth (chickens don’t have teeth)
- The early bird gets the worm
- Bird brain
- It’s so hot outside you could fry an egg on the pavement.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
According to The Times, London, in 2006, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Nottingham by the name of John Brookfield, the answer is unequivocally, the egg. Philosopher David Papineau from King’s College in London concurred, noting that the first chicken had to have come from an egg.
However, according to CNN in 2010, a scientific paper entitled Structural Control of Crystal Nuclei by an Egg Shell Protein, states that eggs can’t be produced without the protein ovocledidin-17 from chickens’ ovaries, which means that the chicken must have come first.
Lest we think we are chickens but in fact are still inside the egg, let’s conclude this question shall remain unanswered for many years to come.
Eggs resemble submarine hulls and are among the strongest things known to the human race. Eggs are cylinders with arch-shaped ends, making them exceptionally strong. Try breaking one squeezing it end-to-end.
- If you give a hard-boiled egg a really good spin on the table, it will rise onto one point and stand vertically.
- Using a small paint brush, apply egg white over a tear in a page of an old book, let dry and the tear will be repaired.
- During the spring equinox in 1983 in New York City, at the Ralph J. Bunche Park at First Avenue and Forty-second Street, just across from the U.N. building, over 300 eggs were balanced on one end. According to this urban legend, this proves the truth in the tale that eggs will stand vertically on the wider end at the time of the spring equinox. The Sixth Annual Egg-Balancing Ceremony was organized by Donna Henes, whose name’s similarity to the word “hens” is, itself, reason to be a little skeptical about the story.
- The idea that the sun or planets can influence gravitational forces acting on the egg originates to an egg-balancing ritual in ancient China on China’s first day of spring, Li Chun. This notion also came to North America, except that our first day of spring is at a different time of year than Li Chun.
Eggs with rough shells will balance on one end provided the surface is rough, too, like let’s say cement, and the balancer has a steady hand. Nonetheless, the legend that eggs can only be balanced on one end during the equinox persists.
(Source: Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 1996)