Wednesday, August 08, 2007

What Is The Incidence Of Twins In Chickens?

This is a question that we've all asked ourselves from time to time. No? Oh, it's just me then.

When we were much younger my sister and I would fight over who got the largest in the egg carton. We were always interested in getting the double-yolker. You felt privileged to have two yolks instead of one.

As I was walking to the bus stop this morning the thought above struck me. And be damned if it would leave my head. And that's a dangerous thing to happen. What is the incidence of twins in chickens? Has anyone done a study or given it more than a passing moments notice?

Twins are revered in humankind. They are treated with wonderment. The Steele brothers came to my primary school one year and they were identical twins. Everybody wants to study identical twins - do they have a private language, can they share pain, do they experience telepathy? We treat human twins as special. I believe that Korea has the highest incidence of twins in humans. We even have a special saying related to human twins - "I see you've met the twins".

Sheep are fairly blasé about having twins. It is almost expected of them. And it is noticeable when they do have twins. Nothing extraordinary there.

Chickens, on the other hand, appear to be overlooked in the world of twins. Perhaps this is due to the size of the brood that they are generally hatched into. The twins, if they occur, are indiscernible. We pay little, or no, attention to the wonderment of twin chickens. This is shameful behaviour and scientists should hang their heads.

I imagine that there are a lot of men who dream about twin chicks but that's another story.

1 comment:

Susan Ham said...

You never cease to amaze me with the things you ponder. I dunno!