It is quite amazing when you think of the quantity of eggs beaten and eaten daily. Eggs are fascinating and are designed to sustain bird life but before it all happens, we crack them embryo free – we hope.
Did you know that when you burn your hand, take an egg and use the albumin, the main protein of human plasma and spread it over the burn. This will help manage the burn and remember never use cold water, ice or any cold compress on a burn.
The egg has its beginning deep inside the body of the hen. There are two separate organs which are involved in making the egg. The ovary which produces the ovum or yolk. It is the ovum which will eventually become the chick. Some birds lay an egg nearly every day while others lay only occasionally. Once released, the yolk is ready to become part of the completed egg.
The other organ involved with making the egg is the oviduct. Ova means egg and duct means tube, so we put the name together and we get a tube that makes eggs. The first part of the oviduct, is called the infundibulum or funnel. This part of the oviduct actually grasps the yolk and engulfs it to begin it journey to becoming a fully formed egg. It is here that the ovum is fertilized to begin its development into the chick. The egg only remains in the infundibulum for about 15 minutes.
After fertilization the egg continues down the oviduct and into the magnum of the tube. Here the albumen (egg white) is added around the yolk. This process takes about 3 hours. The egg then enters the isthmus, the orange part. Here two membranes are formed around the egg white. These membranes serve many purposes but in this case they help to maintain the shape of the egg while the shell is being formed and the provide a base for the shell to stick to. The egg remains in the isthmus for about 1.5 hours.
Next, the egg moves into the shell gland. The shell gland is sometimes call the uterus. It is here that the shell is put on. As the shell is being formed the egg is turning in the gland so that the egg-shell is smooth and ovoid. If the egg is to be colored, as in the Japanese quail, the color is added right at the end of the time that the egg is in the shell gland. The blue or green color in chicken eggs is found throughout the shell. The process of shell formation takes about 20 hours to accomplish.
The time it takes for the whole process to occur from the time the ovum (yolk) is released from the ovary until the egg is laid is about 24 to 25 hours.
One thing, the eggs you buy at the grocery store will not develop into a chick. These eggs are produced in the absence of the rooster so fertilization is not possible.