Does the Chicken come before the Egg?

Does the Chicken come before the Egg?

Does the Chicken come before the Egg?

I actually don't know the answer to that question. But what I can say is Chicken Season is upon us! This means chickens everywhere...cute fluffy chicks to the eggs. Yes, friends eggs have a season too. I know, I know this blew my mind when we started farming. But before we get carried away lest talk about the cycle of an egg. Grab your people for this quick science lesson.

The chick develops quickly after the egg is fertilized. A chick grows inside the egg and hatches in just 21 days. The eggshell comprises calcium carbonate, with over 17,000 small pores allowing moisture and air to pass through. Abloom (or cuticle) is coated on all eggs to prevent bacteria and viruses from penetrating the egg.

The 21 Day Cycle Inside an Egg:

To summarize the development of life that takes place inside an egg, let’s look at the individual processes that occur within these 21 days:

Day 1: The fertilized egg forms the embryonic disc, where the embryo develops. As the chick matures, an air sac in the pointed end controls internal air and egg pressure for respiration as the chick grows.

Day 2: The vitelline membrane begins to develop around the yolk. It permits the egg white to enter the yolk and feed the embryo.

Day 3: Blood vessels start to form, revealing the head, brain, torso, and beating heart.

Day 4: The amniotic sac forms to provide a protective cushion throughout the embryonic stage.

Day 5: The head curls toward the tail, and the eye becomes visible. The toes begin to form.

Day 6: The upper limbs begin to develop. Half of the yolk is now encased in the egg white.

Day 7: The beak starts to take shape.

Day 8: The hue of your eyes can be seen. Wings, legs, and a beak start to take shape. The brain is fixed in the skull after the ear canals open.

Day 9: Feathers and toenails start to emerge.

Day 10: The egg tooth emerges, and more feathers sprout. The eyelids start developing, and the nostrils become visible.

Day 11: The embryo looks a lot like a chick.

Day 12: Outside noises are audible to the chick.

Day 13: Leg scales appear.

Day 14: The entire body becomes covered with fluffy down.

Day 15: The yolk quickly starts decreasing. The chick folds its head under its right wing to prepare for hatching.

Day 16: Almost all the egg white is consumed by the chick.

Day 17: The beak reaches for the air. The kidneys begin to work.

Day 18: The residual fluids are digested.

Day 19: The beak is poised against the shell, ready to pierce it.

Day 20: The umbilicus closes, and the yolk is absorbed. The chick starts to pip.

Day 21: The chick uses its egg tooth to peck around the whole perimeter of the egg and breaks through the shell, which takes 12 to 18 hours with rests in between.


The life cycle of an egg provides a glimpse into the life of a bright and hardworking creature.

These animals have a well-defined hierarchy, excellent memories, the ability to learn and provide a great deal of pleasure to humans.

Today's chickens live significantly longer than the barnyard hen.

The average hen would only survive a few years and lay fewer eggs back then than they do now. They had to make do with a meager diet, gathering whatever they could from the barn and its grounds.

Sorry we couldn't answer the every famous debate on whether the chicken came before the egg. But if someone ask you about the cycle of an egg  you will be well versed in the process. Be sure to follow us on social media for an inside look on this years chicken season!

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