Take Me Somewhere Else
I have a question:
Do chickens and roosters get their groove on?
I only ask this because in all of my life – I have never seen chickens and roosters fuck. I know the chickens lay eggs and within those eggs are baby chickens (or roosters) if that egg has been fertilized, but how does the rooster fertilize SOME of the eggs that chicken lays and not others? And how do we (as egg eaters) tell the difference? I don’t know about you, but I’ve never (EVER) looked at a carton of eggs to see if they were fertilized eggs or unfertilized eggs. And if those farmers that provide us eggs are gathering the little orbs of deliciousness for us, how do THEY know the difference between fertilized and unfertilized eggs before we buy them at the grocery store?
So many questions here!
I had to use Google for what it was designed to do – educate me. And the things I learned are wild.
Chickens and roosters DO mate. But a rooster doesn’t have a penis, and a chicken doesn’t have a vagina. Nope. They both have a thing called a “cloaca” that is made for mating AND excreting. That’s something I learned today. A cloaca can be found in all birds, amphibians, reptiles, and most fish. Chickens and roosters basically “scissor” until the rooster shoots his wad and the chicken gathers up the goo. She can store the sperm in her body for weeks and use it to fertilize her eggs that are then laid and hatched in an average of 22 days. But since she stores the rooster’s baby batter – she can go weeks without mating again.
So when a fertilized egg is hatched and a yellow, fuzzy chick pops out – is it a rooster or a hen? They ALL look alike.
Since chickens don’t have vaginas and roosters don’t have penises, the only way to tell the sex of the bird upon hatching is to wait a few months when the bird starts to crow. If it crows – it’s a rooster. But apparently, some hens crow as well. So you have to wait until 4 or 5 months until the bird begins to grow feathers. The farmers can tell the sex of the bird. The wing feathers are shorter on male birds than they are on females. But until they grow up a little bit – all the chicks are all the same. Male or female. Sort of trans-fowl.
Am I eating fertilized eggs when I buy them at the grocery store?
I don’t know about you, but I assume my eggs are UNfertilized. I don’t want to think of cracking open an egg that had sperm all in and around it. According to what I’ve been reading there is a system called “candling the egg”. Farmers put the eggs up to candle light to see if there is a fetus underneath the shell. HOWEVER, sometimes these fertilized eggs will make it to your grocery store. Farmers will usually catch them by candling their eggs, but if someone has a hundred (or more) chickens they are tending to – those fertilized eggs will make it out and into a carton. You CAN eat a fertilized egg which is usually sold at the farm. Once the embryo reaches your refrigerator all birthing process stops. So – newsflash – I may have eaten a few fertilized eggs in my lifetime. I’m definitely going to be checking my eggs more closely in the future.
How come we always eat “chicken” but never have bought a “rooster” in the meat department?
Honestly – these are questions I have always had, but never has anyone answered them. It turns out we DO eat rooster. But it’s sold as chicken. The chickens (including roosters) are bred so fast that they are sold for meat before they reach their sexual maturity. (Remember feather sexing? When we can tell if it’s a chicken or a rooster?) So we may very well be eating rooster, but it hasn’t reached that adult stage yet before we are placing it in chicken pot pies or eating them in chicken nuggets. Mature roosters are sold for their meat, but their meat is usually tough and has a strong “fowl” taste to it. It’s usually sold for coq au vin, which translates to “cock in wine”or used in soups or for chicken stock. Young chicken hens are more fatty and are cut up and sold as your chicken breasts. Young roosters are less fatty and contain more protein. You’ll see these being sold as your rotisserie chicken or broiler chicken.
To sum up: