We have reached one of the sweetest stages of spring, in which the chicks hatch from their eggs. Well, what happened to them inside, how different is it to develop in an egg than in the womb?
We only have basic information about eggs. The hen produces 50-70 grams, something fragile that has protein and yellowing. Well, can we imagine the size of a hummingbird or an ostrich? What beautiful colors can songbirds flaunt? And what happens to the chick inside the shell: how does it get air and food, how can it break through the solid shell?
First, let’s look at what makes a freshly laid egg. Inside, hidden in its yolk (i.e., the egg) lies a germ disc or scalp that is protected by a separate membrane. Its yolk is located exactly in the middle of the egg, it does not move from there, this is ensured by two small “ropes” called ice cords that connect to the two ends of the egg. Feeding the hen about the color can make you get a lot of corn and fresh greens, a stronger, more vibrant shade of yellow. The protein, which is a nutrient- and water-rich pantry and shock-resistant fluid for the chick, is also not uniform. It surrounds its yolk in three different layers. In addition, there is an air bubble at the rounder end of the egg, which helps in the last days of your chick’s life. For us humans, it’s an indication of how fresh an egg is. The more air there is under the shell, the older the egg will be, and the easier it will float on the surface of the water while its fresh siblings sink to the bottom of the pot.
What is an eggshell good for?
The inside of the egg is woven through blood vessels, passing oxygen and nutrients through the quasi-umbilical cord of the developing chick. However, this requires an outer casing that provides protection but is also breathable. The eggshell is just like that. Its porous, perforated surface is filled with tiny air vents. Its calcium content is not only responsible for the hardness, but also continuously dissolves to feed the chick, whose bones will be solid from it. There is also a protective film on the shell itself, which is why it is not recommended to wash the eggs until they are used.
A Chinese study has shown that the chick develops in the egg without the shell:
The developing chick requires warmth
However, eggs are not the most advanced form of reproduction or cradle. The shell is hard but does not hold heat, so the eggs are kept warm by the parents. This is successful even for penguins, who live in rather harsh conditions. The other problem is the partially permeable eggshell, through which pathogens can attack the bird. It is protected against this by a natural antibiotic called an enzyme called lysozyme (which is also found in humans and is an important part of immune protection). The developing little bird is also protected by a strong membrane running through the inside of the shell.
The last days before hatching
After a while, the egg in the chick begins to become scarce and it becomes increasingly difficult to get oxygen. Therefore, a day or two before hatching, he breaks the air bubble that provides some help with his egg tooth (a bulge in his beak that has grown there just to break through the eggshell). From here, he breathes with his lungs and can still beep inside. Then comes the laborious work of breaking the egg, it takes a lot of small tapping before the chick comes to light. Not accidentally wet poor, the membranes and shells made sure it didn’t dry out, and all that was still left of the egg’s internal materials.
Warrior chicks who are already exercising in their eggs
A chick that is thoroughly tired of getting out will be taken care of by its mother. But the chick is not as vulnerable and weak as it seems. Some birds – those who lay their eggs in the nests of non-breed birds – start training in the eggs. The little ones squirm, strengthen their muscles, so their bones also develop more efficiently, and then a mini Superbird emerges from the egg. The force is also needed, as the hatched cuckoo must push the other eggs out of the nest, which, especially without arms, is not an easy task. Pre-kneading, on the other hand, is usually successful and you can start demanding food from your step-parents.