Fill people up with disgustingly wrong facts about animal products in order to force them to break off their addiction with them.
That’s the newly found tactic that some hardcore vegans use to force people out of their animal product addiction. I personally find this method needless and disgusting although i’m not a big fan of animal products or meat, and i think that there are far better ways to convince people than that.
You see, some few weeks back while i was surfing through the internet to learn more about eggs and their uses; a research for one of my blogposts, i accidentally landed on an article that deeply inspired the birth of this write-up.
The article, obviously written by a vegan, claimed radically that “an egg was nothing but a chicken’s period”, and biological explanations were even presented to back up the claim.
Did you hear that? when a chicken lay eggs, it’s having its period!
That to me sounded so silly and untrue yet there was a biological explanation that perfectly explained why it was so. (at least i thought)
But even with that, i still couldn’t bring myself to believe i had period for breakfast. So i decided to conduct my own research.
After going through boring embryology papers and some avian reproduction write-ups, i was finally able to dig up the truth.
Are eggs chicken periods?
No, eggs are not chicken periods. Chickens do not have periods. Menstrual cycle is a natural phenomenon that is only evident in females of certain mammals for example humans, chimpanzees, simians, bats and elephant shrew. A chicken is no mammal. No other living species aside mammals of the animal kingdom are known to menstruate.
But of course, simply saying “Menstruation is a phenomenon exclusive to mammals and that chickens do not have periods” can never be convincing enough!
So i developed a simple approach which is based on the principle of common sense, and i shall try to use it to prove that chicken do not have periods.
For this approach, we first need to briefly understand the concept of pregnancy and periods in mammals as well as how a chicken is able to lay eggs. Then, we’ll try to see if there is any relationship between chickens and periods.
Pregnancy and periods in mammals
In some female mammals, when the animal or person reaches sexual maturity–a point in mammalian development referred to as puberty –she begins a developmental process called the menstrual cycle (in humans) or estrus cycle (in animals).
During the beginning of this cycle, matured egg or eggs are released from her ovaries– the part of the reproductive system that produces eggs, and are sent to a waiting room for fertilization (the reason why eggs turn to babies)
If the egg or eggs should come in contact with a sperm during this waiting period, they will get fertilized and sent down to a nursing home which was created while the egg was in transport; to live, get nourished and potentially grow into a baby. Thus the mammal is said to be pregnant.
If on the other hand, the egg or eggs fail to come in contact with a sperm (which means no sexual activity occurred), then the egg is not fertilized and thus cannot turn into a baby. The reproductive system detects this as a failed fertilization attempt and thus eliminates this unfertilized egg along with its nursing home through the vagina or by reabsorbing it, so that another cycle can begin. In this case, the mammal is said to have her period.
The entire process (cycle) can take up to a month depending on the mammal. And it is repeated over and over again untill the female mammal attains menopause; a period in her lifetime where she can no longer reproduce naturally.
Over to avian reproduction.
How does a chicken lay eggs?
Just like in menstruating mammals, the development and release of eggs (yolk) from the ovary in a hen happens recurrently and when they reach sexually maturity. This means that sexual activity doesn’t have to occur before eggs (yolk) are formed and released. (From now we’ll refer to the ovary eggs as yolk)
But unlike in mammals, it dosent happen in defined cycles, thus cannot be referred to as menstrual cycle.
When yolk(s) are created in a chicken’s ovary, they are sent down an oviduct which is like an assembly line where the egg white, chalaza, and shells are waiting to be added to it.
The beginning of the oviduct is the infundibulum; the waiting room where the egg is expected to come in contact with a sperm for fertilization.
After an expiration of the waiting period, the yolk is passed down fertilized or unfertilized to the other parts of the oviduct where it is fully formed into an egg and then expelled through the vagina (laying eggs)
Now, notice that with hens, we’re seeing something a little bit different. An unfertilized egg is passed through the same reproductive stages a fertilized egg would. That is not the case in all menstruating mammals. Unfertilized eggs are detected and expelled as waste.
Now from the above explanations, the following can be concluded:
- Pregnancy in mammals has everything to do with fertilized eggs, and nothing to do with unfertilized eggs.
- Menstruation in mammals has everything to do with unfertilized eggs and nothing to do with fertilized eggs.
- A chicken laying an egg has everything to do with both fertilized and unfertilized eggs. So it slots somewhere in the middle right? well, not really. A chicken cannot be having its period and at the same time trying to hatch chicks. Mammals dont do that. So it means that a chicken laying eggs is either having its period or wants to hatch them into chicks.
Why does a chicken lay eggs: To hatch or To menstruate?
What happens after a chicken lays a clutch of eggs?
This clearly shows that a chicken has no idea if the eggs it laid were fertilized or unfertilized. It acts solely on instincts and just wants to hatch them.
Here’s the same approach from another perspective.
First off, I’ll propose two hypothesis,
- If it can be proven that the reason why a hen lays an egg is the same reason why a female mammal menstruate, then hens have periods and eggs are the expulsions in periods “
- If however the opposite is true; why a hen lays an egg is not the same reason why a female mammal menstruate, then chickens do not have periods and eggs aren’t the expulsions in periods.
If this makes sense and sounds fair to you continue reading, otherwise hit the back button now!
So why do periods occur?
Periods occur because there is a failed fertilization. The body detects an unfertilized egg(s) and thus expel it along with its proposed nursing home because they are no longer needed in the body.
This gives room for a new cycle to begin and a new nursing home to be prepared for the next coming egg.
From here now, it becomes pretty evident the key things that should define why a period occurs: “unwanted” and “unfertilized“.
A female mammal menstruate because she is eliminating tissues and unfertilized egg or eggs that she no longer needs.
So we shall learn the reason why a hen lays an egg and try to find correlation with this definition.
Why does a chicken lay an egg?
A chicken lay eggs to reproduce. To birth cute little baby chicks.
Since an unfertilized egg in a chicken is passed through the same reproductive stages as would fertilized eggs, it leads me to conclude this:
“All eggs that a chicken would lay are supposed to be fertilized”, and guess what? a chicken would instinctively sit on its eggs; fertilized or unfertilized with the intention of hatching them into baby chicks. And in the course of this; it can get all broody: refusing to eat and even sacrifice its own health.
This shows that the statement “all eggs laid by a hen are supposed to be fertilized” must be true otherwise, why would a chicken be sitting on its unfertilized eggs in an effort to hatch it?
Now if all chicken eggs are supposed to be fertilized, yet some manage to come out unfertilized, what mechanism is in place to check and eliminate these unfertilized eggs in a chicken’s reproductive system? i’ll leave you to answer that.
Now since we have established that all eggs laid by a chicken are supposed to be fertilized, this goes to prove that the first statement about chickens laying eggs for the primary purpose of hatching them into chicks hold.
Does the two Why’s correlate?
Why does a period occur? To eliminate unfertilized eggs along with its proposed nursing bed because they are no longer useful in the body, so as to prepare the body for the next menstrual cycle.
Why does a chicken lay eggs? To simply hatch them into chicks.
I dont think anyone would need glasses to see that there is absolutely no correlation between these two Why’s.
A chickens natural reason for laying eggs (fertilized or unfertilized) is to potentially hatch them into healthy chicks and not because it is getting rid of unfertilized egg(s) that it no longer needs.
So associating chickens with period is totally off point.
But people all over the web argue….
“That chickens lay unfertilized eggs and humans expel unfertilized eggs during menstruation, so eggs have got to be periods”
But this claim is made without actually putting into consideration why mammals menstruate and hens lay eggs, and the fact that hens also lay fertilized eggs.
But say its agreed, that when a chicken lays a fertilized egg, its reproducing, and when it lays unfertilized eggs, its having its period.
This still leaves one question unanswered.
Why does a chicken attempt to hatch its period?
For Further Reading
- Why did evolution create a chicken that lay so many unfertilized eggs when that is so wasteful?
- Avian Reproductive System
- Understanding the Female Reproductive System