Friday, May 18, 2012

Ode to the Chicken

This was meant to be my Mothers' Day post, but somehow I wasn't feeling up to the task on the day of. The topic rose again yesterday while talking to one of my friends, and he commented "chicken or the egg" to which I replied, "the chicken."

Now, I'm one of those superthinkers who can't let things alone, especially when they pose a challenge. I remember my astonishment when I was younger and confronted with this so called causality dilemma. Things which make you think outside the box always fascinate me. And so as I usually do, I get thinking and cranking out whichever thoughts my mind does, to lay out all the different possibilities and their consequences in order to find the answer.

I refused to research any findings that might have been published until I could be satisfied with finding my own solution to the puzzle. It's been a long while now since I did accomplish this task and I've never voiced it so I am sure that once I do there will be varying responses that will both accept and challenge what I assert as my answer.

So, since I have figured out the answer to the question, I decided I may as well finally see what the many answers at the back of the book say. So I google, and inevitably I land on my beloved Wiki.
 "To better understand its metaphorical meaning, the question could be reformulated as: "Which came first, X that can't come without Y, or Y that can't come without X?"

That couldn't have been better phrased for me to contest the idea that perhaps people have been approaching the question from the wrong angle.  The article on the chicken or the egg goes through philosophy, chemistry, biology,  evolution, and theology. And this is only a brief summary, mind you, compared to the vast material existing on the topic.

So we understand that we cannot have a chicken without an egg, and we cannot have an egg without a chicken. Now forget about the very idea of source of existence. What about the actual lifecycle of either? The idea of survival.

For, a chicken, from the moment it may be classified as a chicken, as opposed to an egg, can survive to the end of its lifecycle, independent of the egg. The egg, however, may survive, yet the chances are slim because the nature of the egg is such that its developmental survival depends on the chicken who brought it to life.

This is the nature of the Mother.

Consider twenty days of  incubation, and the fact that the species is a domesticated one, which means that they have a vested interest in raising their young. 

"The broody hen will stop laying and instead will focus on the incubation of the eggs (a full clutch is usually about 12 eggs). She will "sit" or "set" on the nest, protesting or pecking in defense if disturbed or removed, and she will rarely leave the nest to eat, drink, or dust-bathe. While brooding, the hen maintains the nest at a constant temperature and humidity, as well as turning the eggs regularly during the first part of the incubation."

The hen incubates, helps the chick to hatch out of its egg, clucking to stimulate the chick to break out, and after the egg is hatched, the chick then relies on the mother to protect and tend to it.

"The hen will usually stay on the nest for about two days after the first egg hatches, and during this time the newly hatched chicks live off the egg yolk they absorb just before hatching. After hatching, the hen fiercely guards the chicks, and will brood them when necessary to keep them warm, at first often returning to the nest at night. She leads them to food and water; she will call them to edible items, but seldom feeds them directly. She continues to care for them until they are several weeks old, when she will gradually lose interest and eventually start to lay again. "

It may be just another species, another animal that we just think of as food, but tell me how all of this cannot compare to the joy and tenderness a human mother has for its child. The very essence of what a chicken is and what an egg is is the relationship that exists between them, the mother and the child. When it comes to the idea of which came first, the question isn't "Which came first, X that can't come without Y, or Y that can't come without X?" but rather, which needs which to survive?


  1. Nice .. and finally the chicken and egg post :)

    it might sound counter intuitive but i always have thoughts about the chicken that was snatched from its parent to feed me ... but i also think of chickens that are bred to be eaten (not that it isnt snatched from its parent in this case) .. but also more importantly of the lion chasing the deer and devouring it ... and i feel ok coz nature has a plan for all of us :D

    1. I knew you'd say that :P The psychopathic murderer also thinks of the lion chasing the deer and slaughtering it and feels ok coz nature has plans for all of us ... :P

  2. :O .. i wasnt thinking of human sacrifice ... yet :L

    are you actually around or are these umm duplicates of you .. note the plural :D

    1. I'm doing my version of your couch cuddling today lol, so not around.. yet. =/

  3. LOL ... look on the list in da spice channel .. youll know who i am :L

  4. There is nothing compared to motherly love.

    Coming to the question of which came first, I think that would be the chicken. There must be some scientific explanation to that. Or else God created chicken as he created man. :P

  5. Ooo, loved this post :) The chicken-human analogy, now that's an innovative topic..

    This is why I admire youuu! I would never be able to write an entire post about a chicken! And in addition to that, your post was also interesting, and engaging.

    Motherly love ♥

    1. Haha um, gosh... Thanksssss Kiara! ♥

  6. hmm no weekend updates :L

    do you have hot weather and abundant sunshine ? 92 yesterday and 94 here today :O in mid May .... July came early ... my june bearing strawberries decided to become may bearing ones :L

  7. I'm sorry,I love chicken and eggs equally so no comments pls. and ............................................. I'm tired now :/ :P