Did chicken or egg come first?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 17, 2021

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Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
People have known about chickens for nearly 3,000 years. Chicken drawings were even discovered on ancient pottery. Maybe that’s where we get the saying, “A chicken in every pot.”
There’s speculation that today’s modern chicken descended from the wild Red Junglefowl. Where did the Junglefowl come from?
Some scientists say this bird was hatched by a primitive hen, a type of prehistoric bird. I have found few documents on this, because early chicken writing is hen-scratching at best.
Anyway, for reasons unknown to non-chickens, apparently some prehistoric bird produced an egg. An ancestor of today’s chicken emerged from it.
So, in this case, the egg likely came before the chicken. But, if it takes a chicken to produce a chicken egg, then the chicken came first.
Whichever the case, today chickens are the most plentiful birds worldwide (over 23 billion). So, to quote the old farmer: “Here a chick, there a chick, everywhere a chick, chick.”
I actually planned to do more research on this, but I chickened out.

Rix Quinn is a former magazine editor and now a syndicated columnist for over 100 weekly newspapers. He can be reached at rix@rixquinn.com.