Chicken Time

As we sally forth beyond the citrus groups (to which I will return at a later time, as I would prefer that my reading and updating is not “all citrus, all the time”), I’d like now to discuss “the” white meat. Of course, I am talking about chicken.

The domestication of what we term “chicken” began probably around 4,000 years ago. I say “probably”, because there’s very little specific evidence stating as such. However, Darwin himself mused that the Red Junglefowl of the areas between eastern India and Java was the likely ancestor to today’s Rhode Island Red. However, there is archeological evidence pointing to fowl domestication in China, circa 6000 to 4000 BC. It seems that the initial domestication was unlikely to have occured there, and most folks suspect areas of Cambodia and Thailand as the most likely of candidates, and the Chinese picked up on the meme.

Adding to the difficulty of pinpointing to the when and where of chicken domestication is the idea that the fowl was most likely a scavenger to man, survivinh off of the seeds of a garden or the maggots found in cattle droppings. What this most likely means is that they chose to be domesticated by us, rather than us deciding to domesticate them. How’s that for a biological imperative? Fowls evolving into domestication in order to ensure that their species survives.

They also have this tendancy to breed like rabbits, offering a continuing supply food to those lucky enough to house both roosters and hens. Not being a farm person myself, I won’t pursue this line too much further, but eggs also come into play here at this point. Suffice to say that I have yet to read up on the mating habits of birds, but yet I think I shall need to.

In the course of writing about chicken, not only will I have opportunity to throw out several recipes, it also gives me the opportunity to discuss various chicken type topics, including “Free-Range” chicken, the shenanigans of the Perdue and Tyson companies, Avian flu, and yes, even how we get chicken eggs.

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