The Chicken Elite

As I was making breakfast this morning and cracking the eggs into the pan, I got to thinking.  Whenever I buy eggs, I like to buy the Extra Large eggs.  Maybe it’s because I’m a big guy and everything else I buy is Extra Large, too.  But then I started to wonder:  “How do we get Extra Large eggs?”

I mean, they aren’t from Extra Large chickens.  There’s not a breed of three-foot chickens out there to provide us with their Extra Large, delicious, unfertilized young.  God help us if there were.  So that means that all different sizes of eggs come from the same orifice of the same bird that we call “chicken,” right?  So how do eggs come to be different sizes?  Does it remain in the chicken for just a little longer?  When the chicken lays an Extra Large egg, did the chicken just try harder?

Well, it’s questions like these to which you had no idea you need the answers, and that’s what I’m here for.

It turns out that there are different breeds of chickens, and some are predisposed to squeeze out larger eggs.  Other factors include the age of the chicken, the size of the chicken and the surroundings in which the chicken was raised.  For instance, your upper middle-class, private school chickens will generally lay larger eggs, but lobby their elected officials for egg tax relief so they get to keep more.  Most of the egg burden is placed directly on the feathered backs of the lower-class, public school chickens who are trying to keep enough eggs just to raise a family.  It doesn’t help that we keep harvesting their family for omelets.

And speaking of omelets, I would like to provide another quick public service.  One night, my wife and I cooked up some chicken breasts for dinner and had some left over.  The next morning, I thought it would be a fine idea to put them in an omelet.  So there I was, mixing the meat from a chicken in with a potential chicken.  I don’t recommend this.

It didn’t necessarily taste bad, but it did taste very, very wrong.


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