Life Re­quires The Ge­nius Of God

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - OPINION - Gene Linzey Re­flec­tions on Life GENE LINZEY IS A SPEAKER, AU­THOR, MEN­TOR AND PRES­I­DENT OF THE SILOAM SPRINGS WRIT­ERS GUILD. SEND COM­MENTS AND QUES­TIONS TO MASTERS.SER­VANT@COX.NET. THE OPIN­IONS EX­PRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AU­THOR.

“We got six eggs from five chick­ens? How’d that hap­pen?”

“Maybe it’s be­cause my ba­bies love me, and want to stay in my good graces.”

“Yeah, right!” Carol laughed. “But who gave the ex­tra egg?”

I stud­ied the eggs. Each bird colors her eggs dif­fer­ently, al­though some are very close. “Goldie gives brown eggs; Elona’s and Red Head’s are lighter brown; Whitey and Baby give light brown eggs with a pink hue. That’s why, al­though Goldie was the brooder who sat on the eggs, I think Whitey was the bi­o­log­i­cal mama. But Goldie gave us two eggs to­day. Look, these two are darker than the other four.”

“So Goldie is try­ing to stay in your good graces? She’s also the one who has been giv­ing us dou­ble-yolk­ers.”

Carol had an­other ques­tion: “How do they make eggs, any­way?”

It was time to study. As with women, hens en­ter the world with all the eggs they will ever have. Our birds started laying eggs at six months of age. Here, briefly stated, is the process.

Light en­ter­ing the eyes starts the ac­tiv­ity. Light and heat are the stim­u­lants which help our chick­ens pro­duce an egg on the av­er­age of every 25 to 26 hours. How­ever, rather than de­lay­ing the egg sev­eral hours each day, our birds usu­ally lay them be­tween 8 and 10 every morn­ing, and skip a day pe­ri­od­i­cally. Hens nor­mally don’t lay eggs in the dark; so if the egg is ready to be laid at night, she will “hold it” un­til morn­ing.

The oocytes (eggs in the ovary which be­come yolks) be­gin grow­ing. Nor­mally, one a day is re­leased into the oviduct where fer­til­iza­tion can take place; but sev­eral may be trav­el­ing down the oviduct si­mul­ta­ne­ously — grow­ing as they move. If a rooster is on the job, the yolk is fer­til­ized early in the jour­ney. The chick will grow on the out­side of the yolk, and the yolk and al­bu­min (egg-white) are the food for the de­vel­op­ing chick. The birds need plenty of clean wa­ter in or­der to man­u­fac­ture eggs.

At about the half-way point, the al­bu­min be­gins to ac­cu­mu­late. The mass is then wrapped in a mem­brane which holds things to­gether for the cal­cite shell. Chick­ens need cal­cium to create the shells. About four days a week, I crush three or four of their own dried shells and mix it with their feed. (Our chick­ens don’t pre­fer oys­ter shells.)

The mem­brane, con­tain­ing the yolk and al­bu­min, sits in a cal­cium-rich fluid at the end of the oviduct where the cal­cite set­tles or is de­posited all around the mem­brane. It takes more than 20 hours for the shell to form. One end of the egg is more pointed, and the other is gen­tly-rounded; and nor­mally, the rounded end comes out first.

If the egg is brown, the pig­ment is the last step of the process be­cause the brown col­or­ing is only on the sur­face; but green eggs are green through­out the shell.

I men­tioned that Goldie gave us sev­eral yolk-less eggs — called “no-yolk­ers, or wind-eggs.” That hap­pened af­ter she gave us sev­eral dou­ble-yolk­ers (where two yolks trav­eled close to­gether and were caught in the same shell). The dou­ble-yolk­ers were the size of goose-eggs, but the wind-eggs were the size of half my thumb. (The windegg whites are as good to eat as are the whites in nor­mal eggs.)

All five birds lay the eggs in the same nest — one at a time, of course. And it’s fun hear­ing each one “sing” as she as­cends the ramp to de­posit her gift.

I had the an­swer for Carol’s ques­tion: Goldie had an egg ready to lay some­time dur­ing the night, but held it un­til day­light. By then, the next egg was al­most ready. When she laid it a cou­ple of hours later, we had six eggs for the day.

As I was study­ing for this re­flec­tion, I be­gan laugh­ing. “What’s up?” Carol asked.

“I’m laugh­ing at the con­cept of Dar­winian Evo­lu­tion. There is ab­so­lutely no way that birds — with their built-in egg-man­u­fac­tur­ing process — could have evolved from a non-bird life-form. It is, also, im­pos­si­ble for any life-form to self-gen­er­ate from dis­solved rocks. Life, in­clud­ing veg­e­ta­tion, re­quires the en­gi­neer­ing ge­nius of our Cre­ator: Almighty God.”

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