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The Chicken And The Egg Question

huevos

Which one came first – the chicken or the egg? That’s the question.

But in our day and age the real question seems to be: where do the eggs come from? Most of us would seem to buy eggs in the supermarket, along with all the other packaged food, with the eggs quite possibly all from hens reared in batteries.

How many of us can still see real eggs being laid by real chicken on a real farm in real life?

For those of you who have not searched for their own eggs on the farmyard, or who do not have a friendly neighbour who still has some hens: this is what a clutch of Mallorcan eggs looks like. A rather delightful sight.

But there is a secret. If you are not – or if your friendly neighbour isn’t – quick on the hoof, chances are that the eggs found are already being sat on and some little chicks might already be in the making. It was the case in this instance. I must have inadvertently scared the breeding hen away from her nest without realizing it. Sure enough, when I went back the next day I saw a hen brooding on top of this very clutch of eggs. Also a pleasant sight. The incubation time amounts to 21 days but with the heat of a hot Mallorcan Summer, a day or two shorter would seem plausible.

brooding

The photos were taken near Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The dates: June 30th and July 1st, 2009. The time was 13:58:32 and 18:18:57, respectively.

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