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An Eggcellent Riddle: On a windless day, a rooster lays an egg on the peak of a roof.  Which way does the egg fall – to the birds’ right or left?

egg experiment. Photo by Bet Zimmerman
Egg-speriment:  Take one raw egg and one hardboiled egg.  Ask your friends if they can identify which is the raw egg.  Then put the eggs on the table and spin them.  Stop both eggs from spinning by lightly touching them.  The hard-boiled egg will stop quickly.  The raw egg keeps on going because the liquid inside the raw egg continues to move.  See more egg-speriments

What do you call the scientific study of eggs?  Oology.  Egg collecting used to be a popular hobby.  Collecting eggs without a permit was outlawed by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, because it jeopardized bird populations.

How many eggs will a bird lay in one season?  It depends. The number of eggs laid depends on factors such as the species, food supply, age, health, location, and the time of year.  Some species lay a certain number of eggs, regardless of whether eggs are added or removed from their nest.  Others will lay more or stop laying if their eggs are removed, or may lay fewer eggs if extra eggs are added to their nest.  Ducks and chickens fall into the second category.  The average chicken lays 259 eggs per year (Source: American Egg Board.)

How does a baby bird get out of the egg?  The hatchling has a temporary, pointy “egg tooth” on the end of its beak that is uses to break through the shell from the inside.  

I found the egg of a wild bird.  Can I hatch it myself?  No.  1) It is illegal.  2) The nest or egg may not be abandoned.  3) It probably would not hatch.  4) In the unlikely event that it did hatch, the young have to be fed every 5-15 minutes with a special diet and kept warm. Otherwise they will die or fail to develop properly.  In addition, only a bird can properly teach their young to survive in the natural world. More....

Does the color of a chicken or duck eggshell affect the color of the egg inside?  No.  The color of the eggshell also has nothing to do with egg quality or nutritional value.  Chickens with white earlobes like White Leghorns lay white eggs.  Chickens with reddish brown earlobes like Rhode Island Reds lay brown or brown speckled eggs.  Araucana chickens lay blue eggs.  The breed of fowl or their diet may affect the egg’s flavor. Because brown egg layers are slightly larger birds and eat more, the price of brown eggs is usually higher. 

Is eating eggs bad for you?  Supposedly in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson got mad that egg prices were too high, and told the surgeon general to dampen demand by warning about the hazards of cholesterol in eggs.  “Studies conducted at the University of Arizona, the Harvard School of Public Health, and others have concluded that the cholesterol levels of healthy people will probably remain about the same if they eat an egg a day,” according to the American Egg Board.   Eggs contain protein and vitamins.  The National Eye Institute researchers believe that lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs may ward off eye diseases like Macular Degeneration. 

What bird lays the largest egg in the world?  The ostrich. 

Are birds the only creatures that lay eggs?  Certainly not.  Other egg layers include insects and arachnids (spiders), amphibians like salamanders and frogs, and reptiles like snakes and turtles (which lay eggs with a leathery shell.)  Only two species of mammals lay eggs:  the Duck-Billed Platypus, and the Echidna (which looks like a little hedgehog.)

At Easter time, what animal delivers brightly colored eggs?  In North America, a bunny brings eggs.  In Switzerland, eggs are brought by a Cuckoo bird.  In Germany, foxes also deliver eggs at Easter.

Riddle Answer:  Neither, silly!  Roosters don’t lay eggs.

Originally published in the Villager newspapers on March 13, 2009

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Originally published in the Villager newspapers on March 20, 2009


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