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Things that donors know: what are chicken wings used for?

In honor of Yom Kippur and the chickens of atonement, we will answer the question of the Yosef family  "We wanted to ask and can't find an answer - what is the function of the chicken's wings?"

Chickens. From Jumpstory
Chickens. From Jumpstory

Chicken wings, like their sausage sisters and their best friend the kebab, are part of the barbecue and their role is to be seared and dipped in the tahini. But why does the hen show such consideration for flappers and grow wings that apparently do not serve her? So that's it, wings were made to fly and chicken wings are for that very purpose. The avian department also includes birds that do not fly, such as the ostrich or the penguin, most of which kept the wing and assigned it new tasks. In the ostrich, the wing is used to maintain balance and show off, and the penguin's wings are used as flippers. The loss of the ability to fly is a dramatic change in lifestyle and is, of course, expressed in the anatomy. The flight muscles and their connection points to the sternum degenerate and when there is no longer a need to maintain an efficient air flow around them, the feathers become downy and disintegrate. The flight muscles of the chicken, known to us in their fried state when rescued, and the stiff feathers indicate that the chicken is not a dwarf ostrich but a flying bird for all intents and purposes.

So why don't we see chickens sailing above us in the sky? First of all because they are locked in tight coops and the laying eggs not only cannot fly or walk but also suffer from an inability to spread their wings in the narrow space where they spend their lives. A study that examined flight in chickens who spent the first 16 weeks of life in a cage compared to their sisters who grew up in an open space discovered that the caged hens rarely flew and spent their time mainly on the ground compared to those that were given the option of free movement when they were pullets. But even in the last days, when the battery cages disappear from the land, the chickens will not open a victory flight. The father of the domesticated chicken is the red jungle rooster of Southeast Asia (Gallus gallus), the wild rooster flies quite a bit mainly to avoid predators that lurk on the forest floor where it pecks its food, but its movement in the air is mainly vertical: from the ground to the top (where it is also spends the night). About 8,000 years ago, the domestication of the rooster and the transition from the jungle to the coop was accompanied by physical and behavioral changes that grounded it to a state where many of us do not even know that the most common of domesticated animals is a bird after all.

In order to become a farm animal, the chicken had to first lose fear, i.e. the main motive for flight. Wild roosters will not allow a human to approach them and over the generations only the brave / foolish offspring have survived in the yard who did not fly away in panic when the owner of the house approached them with a bowl of grain or an ax in his hands. On that occasion, the rooster also lost his curiosity: the wild rooster, like other animals, sometimes prefers to diversify the menu with hard-to-obtain items even when more nutritious food is available to him. An animal is not only looking for a meal, but also for information: getting to know alternative food sources is important for those who live in a changing environment and may be faced with shortages or danger every day. Man selected the chicken that would gain weight quickly, that is, the one that would devour what was placed in front of it and reach as early as possible a weight that would earn it a trip to the slaughterhouse. The breeds of chickens for meat (broilers) reach a target weight of two kilograms in only six weeks and if they are allowed to live longer until the extreme old age of three months, their weight will reach up to 4.5 kg, four times the weight of their ancestor in the forest. To increase meat at such a rate you need to eat a lot and move little

In recent decades, the amount of food required to bring a chicken to the required weight in the supermarket has decreased by 30%. To achieve this savings, efficiency is required, that is, behavior that will burn as few calories as possible. Indeed, the modern rooster spends 75% of its time resting, meaning it has no time or curiosity to discover the joy of flight. On top of that, it is impossible to turn a bird into a rescue machine without paying for its health: the birds suffer from leg deformities and heart diseases and it is probably difficult to expect aerial acrobatics from those with such a profile. Even the laying hens, especially the girls of the Leghorn breed (the main production line of the egg industry) underwent cruel artificial selection in order to achieve rapid maturation and multiple laying, which means that most of the calories in the food are channeled into the egg instead of muscle movement. As the hen adapted to a short life that was all laying, she became less athletic. It turns out that the artificial selection created irreversible damage, when modern litters are taken out of the cage labs to freedom, that is, to the space that allows flight Many of them fail to land, a hard landing often causes a fracture in the KEEL: that rigid-elastic continuation of the sternum familiar to anyone who has prepared schnitzels. Such fractures make it difficult for the hen to move so that hens that are given the freedom to fly lose interest in flying towards the end of the laying cycle (when the aging laying flock gives its place in the coop to young hens)

Well, the Joseph family, the rooster of scapegoats was certainly capable of using its wings for flight, but it is likely that it never had the time, energy or physical strength to see the world from above. It is possible that the future of the industrial rooster is similar to that of the turkey that long ago lost the flight ability of its ancestors.

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More of the topic in Hayadan:

4 תגובות

  1. Free-range chickens fly quite well, depending on the species. Fiumi flew impressively, while the Rhode Island heavies are getting harder. Chicks are small enough to fly several meters

  2. The wings are mainly used for injecting drugs and hormones, some of the substance is not absorbed by the hen's body and remains in the wing, and it is this that "gives" the grilled wing a unique and dangerous taste

  3. Nice ,
    It is only appropriate that the writer learns that:
    Instead of "alternative" it is appropriate to write in Hebrew
    In place: "supermarket" - supermarket,
    Instead: "information" - information,
    Yes, also in the answers to questions
    It is appropriate to write in a language free from unnecessary bravado...

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