By Mark Frauenfelder at 11:32 am Fri, Mar 9, 2012
Artist Amanda Visell has a great new print about the reproductive cycle of the chicken.
Charming, yes, but the “big hug” nonsense spoils it.
You demand the term “cloacal kiss”? These are chickens we’re talking about, not ducks; it’s not as though there’s any penetration happening.
I was fine with “big hug,” but now that “cloacal kiss” is on the table I agree that it was a missed opportunity.
It’s an actual technical term; I didn’t make it up.
In other news, it’s apparently also the name of a band.
But. But. It’s just not true.
The eggs laid by chickens who have not had access to a rooster are not fertilized and will never hatch into a chicken. Hens (and some other poultry) are capable of self-fertilizing, but this is very rare and cannot be considered the norm.
Either this is a joke, or I have misunderstood it, or it is terribly ignorant.
EDIT: Or I am totally misinformed regarding a chicken’s reproductive system, in which case I owe my girls an apology.
DOUBLE EDIT: If it’s a joke, it’s not funny, because a lot of people actually think this is true, and I spend a lot of time setting them straight.
I think you’ve misunderstood. Fertilization is described as optional, and the “process” that “starts all over again” is ambiguous, with no arrow pointing from laying to hatching; in the absence of fertilization, the cycle picks up at the next egg being formed, though that’s not clearly stated.
Artist needs to take some seminars from Edward Tufte — unless one already knows otherwise, the cycle clearly shows it restarting with the birth of the hen. If this was moved out of the circle it would be much more informative.
Absolutely right. I came here to say “BUT! BUT! That cycle is wrong because a chick won’t hatch if there was no rooster,” just like Joshua above.
There won’t be a cycle if there’s no rooster. It’s true that the graphic doesn’t have that final arrow, but that minor detail is easily missed, and the title says both “cycle” and “don’t need a rooster.”
Ah. I see. It’s confusing that the title of the poster is, “you don’t need a rooster,” but then roosters are involved.
Shouldn’t the last step read “the egg is laid”? Right now it reads “layed”. As in, “I laid down the baby to sleep”.
That’s illegal in most countries.
The “egg … is released through the vent which is also shared by the intestine.”
It’s not a matter of “laid” versus “layed”, then. It’s “pooped out the bum.”
You need a rooster to make a female chicken. That is how the process starts all over again – unless this chicken is pumping out special female-chicken-Jesus eggs. I’m kind of getting the vibe that the poster is trying to have some underlying female empowerment message (females are awesome because we don’t need males to ovulate!)… or is it honestly just in the draft phase since it’s part of “a new line of science posters?” A science poster should be accurate and not politically slanted. And little boys don’t need to be dodging the swinging pendulum.
That hen wouldn’t look so smug if she knew we could all see her lady bits.
I came here in the hope of finding the answer to the age old question of which came first and I leave disappointed, doomed to continue lying awake at night, wondering.
From all of the previous comments about the lack of an arrow between the “egg is layed” and “the process starts all over again” the answer is obviously “the chicken”. In other words you can follow the one-way line from the chicken to the egg but not vice-versa. So the chicken has to come before the egg.
Wrong! The cycle starts with a chicken hatching from an egg, not with the egg being laid. The egg was indisputably first.
Give this poster a good proofreading and you might actually be able to get the $30 out of me.
So it’s final then . . . The Chicken!
Without the rooster there is no reproductive cycle.
Can we just call a cock a cock?
Her illustrations are so nice, but does everything have to have its eyes closed? Wouldn’t that chicken look better staring us, even with its lifeless chicken eyes?
Is it mandatory that infographic posters have typos? In this case it’s “layed.” And as others have pointed out, the poster doesn’t clearly achieve what it announces it will do, which is explain how a hen will produce an egg every month whether or not a cock (I prefer the less squeamish British term) is present. However, that’s no great mystery. Human females also produce an egg every month, whether or not a male is present.
The drawings are nice, though.
I have chickens, and I get this question all the time. I ask my female questioners “do you need a guy around to lay your monthly egg?” That usually gets ‘em thinking.
“If the rooster loves the chicken very much…”
We all know he’s just after some cloaca, like the rest of us.
I’m pretty certain parthenogenesis, though rare, is possible in chickens. I’m not clear how often it leads to viable offspring though. So even the rooster is not totally needed for hugs.
Also, I agree with others that the representation as a cycle (even without the final arrow) is misleading. And if the cock were placed closer to the start of the egg’s journey through the ovIduct, it would perhaps be better, as fertilization needs to happen before the egg membranes & other stuff are added.
The rooster is placed where the rooster would be pertinent if we were having a fertilized hatching egg: near the oviduct drawing, after the ova is released. That’s where the fertilization occurs. You totally don’t need a rooster for your hen to lay eggs. You need a rooster for any of those eggs to hatch to chicks. This poster would facilitate discussion, and clarification. If you are relying purely on the absolute total un-misunderstandable correctness and complete clarity to the nth degree of posters to teach your kids, then you don’t deserve to complain about said posters. I agree about the typos/spelling errors though. For goodness’ sake, can ANY educational poster be grammatically correct?
Sorry to be pedantic, but OVA is plural. The singular is OVUM.
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