Let us talk about the most famous animal in the whole animal kingdom; this is the story of the chicken. Chicken is so popular among the kids and bodybuilders that it is irreplaceable at this point. Yes, I know that is a weird combination but still.
I think it was one of the best decisions made by humans, by far. Cheaper than other proteins, easy to cook, easy to breed, and you also get eggs. What more could you ask?
Is Chicken a dinosaur?
According to scientists, birds are the closest relatives to dinosaurs. Yes! That succulent KFC thigh you love so much is part dinosaur. So, getting back to the topic, since chickens share their DNA with such ancient beings, it is hard to pinpoint the origin of the story of chickens.
Like most other animals, it took millions of years of evolution before chicken fully molds into the final product that we have now. But it was still not what we wanted. The animals in the wild were very different from the domestic animals we have these days.
The closest relative to the chickens are the wild jungle fowl. Mainly found in the jungles of Southeast Asia and other parts of South Asia. The jungle fowl is a more aggressive and less manageable cousin of the chicken that we are familiar with.
Due to the domestication of the Chicken, they exhibit less aggressive behavior. Not as sharp and agile as their forefathers. Also, their meat became chewable and soft since they do not have much activity to do every day, and also their fat content increased.
History of the chicken
Humans first found chickens interacting with them about 10,000 years ago, during the agricultural revolution era. Wild fowls were mainly attracted to the rice fields. They nested near the edge of the fields where they used to breed and lay eggs.
What a coincidence, right? Since chickens are mostly eaten with rice, it was a very iconic move by nature. Who knew the habitat that chicken chose was more than just the habitat but a great cooking combination for the future generations.
As the centuries went by, the chicken gained popularity one continent at a time. Shortly after their domestication, they became popular in Asia and, from there, in Africa.
In Great Britain, the Chicken first introduced about 2800 years ago. It immediately became a delicacy of the British. Due to their fast growth rate, they did not remain special that long. Now chickens have a rough estimate of about 30 billion units. That’s a whole army.
How chicken became the most famous bird?
There were many reasons why chicken became famous. One of the reasons was the fast replication rate of the chickens. Breeders can get a healthy chicken in just 16 weeks. That is an exceptional growth rate for the amount of protein you are getting.
Chickens are one of the few birds that cannot fly. So, catching them or hunting wild roosters in the old days was easy. The easy accessibility of the chicken made it popular among families.
Lastly, cooking a chicken is way easier than other forms of meat. It is easy to cook and can be incorporated into a number of dishes. It goes well with all staples like wheat, rice, corn, and beans. Broiler breeds have soft meat that is very easy to cook and takes no time compared to pork and beef.
Chicken ‘A global delicacy’
Almost all the international chains have some item in their menu containing chicken meat. It is no surprise because chicken is an easy meat to source and relatively cheap.
Due to increased global demand, millions of chickens are slaughtered each day. Just an interesting fact, McDonald’s uses 300 pounds of chicken each year.
People love the variety that comes with chicken meat. May it be rice or gravy or fried chicken. Chicken steaks, nuggets, burgers, pastas, it fits in every bracket, no questions asked.
There are several popular chicken dishes around the world. Some of them worth mentioning are the waffle and chicken popular in the American community. At the same time, chicken tikka is another famous dish in Southeast Asia. There is just so much variety when it comes to chicken.
No, we are not talking about the robotic chicken that will take over space; instead, it means the better breed of chicken. Due to the increased demand by us humans, chicken DNA has also been altered in many ways. You can call this selective breeding.
We humans have a terrible habit of altering nature’s way. Breeders inject the young chick with growth hormones to get the most amount of meat in the shortest time possible.
Nowadays, there are two very popular breeds of white chicken. One is layer chicken which is female and produces eggs daily. The other one is the broiler, primarily male, having large pectoral muscles for the maximum amount of meat.
But there are also some adverse effects on the male chicken’s body. Due to excess pectoral muscles, they cannot breed with the female. Also, most of them are incapable of producing sperms. That is the reason why they have to seminate the female artificially.
The story of chicken is not complete without chicks.
What comes first, a chicken? Or eggs? Whatever came first or last, we don’t care. What matters here is chicks. These adorable little animals can be the perfect pet. I know they can be a bit dumb, but still, they are too cute to ignore.
Like any other baby animal, they require special care. You must get them to the vet regularly, or they will shit everywhere. To be honest, you cannot train them, but they will still follow you. That’s something right.
So, to wrap things up, chickens started as vicious dinosaurs. Then they lost their vicious features and replaced them with more modest ones, but they still maintained their dynamic nature.
Not for long, though, as we humans pampered them to be more suitable to eat. Now they are no more than cute pets and a famous ingredient.
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