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Name: Jenny P.
Status: educator
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2001


Question:
One of the students in my summer school class has brought in an egg that he found in his chicken house. This egg looks like a chicken egg only it is really small. It measures 1 1/2 centimeters by 1 1/2 centimeters. It is light tan. He said that there were no other nests in the rafters. Is it possible for a chicken to lay this size of egg? If you can will you please give us some information of where to look if it is not possible for it to be a chicken egg.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Jenny Petty and her Summer school class


Replies:
About a year ago someone asked Newton BBS a question about the shape of eggs. I am in the final stages of preparing a paper on the analytical representation of "egg shapes". It turns out no one has ever bothered to do this. Even today, in most references about the geometry of "egg shapes" one finds statements such as, "An oval that is more pointed at one end and more blunt at the other." Not very useful.

My point is, I have researched the subject of "eggs" in general this last year. The definitive text on bird (avian) eggs is: "The Avian Egg" by A. L. Romanoff and A. J. Romanoff, published by John Wiley. It is out of print but is available on inter-library loan.

Despite the fact that it was published in the late '50s or early '60s, it is still widely cited in papers almost 50 years later.

Vince Calder


Dear Jenny:

Check with your County Agricultural Extension Agent. They are there partly to answer just this kind of question from the public.

Tom Douglas


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