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157564.  Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:10 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Article in today's Guardian:

Is my egg going to hatch?

This was explained to me many years ago by a friend, normally when he was challenging my (at that time) vegetarianism. His brother was training as a medic and was researching a project which involved injecting various things into chicken embryos to see how it would affect their development as they grew.

Apparently the standard way of getting chicken embryos was to pop down to the supermarket and buy half-a-dozen free range eggs. When put in an incubator, you could guarantee that at least a couple would develop and hatch into chicks.

Molly Cule
162693.  Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:05 am Reply with quote

oh no! I wish I hadnt read that... bit grim!

I like this chain of events - Calcium carbonate is the main construction material for birds' eggs. Great tits get the nutrient from eating snail shells, which take calcium from the soil and use it to make their own shells.

Last edited by Molly Cule on Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:11 am; edited 1 time in total

162747.  Tue Apr 03, 2007 2:44 pm Reply with quote

Are you sure great tits eat snails? I've seen them take a lot of insects, but not molluscs. (Of course, that's not to say they don't do it behind my back ...)

162782.  Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:16 pm Reply with quote

Thrushes eat snails - I've never seen a tit of any variety (stop sniggering at the back there) eat snails.

162846.  Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:16 am Reply with quote

If you keep geese, you'll know that it's a good idea to feed them ground-up oyster shells so that their diet is rich in calcium, and their eggs are well-formed.

162852.  Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:24 am Reply with quote

According to this study the normal great tit diet does not cover more than 10% of its calcium need, so it needs to suppliment it with snail shells, bones and grit:

Snail shells tumed out to be the main calcium source for the Great Tit.


eggshell defects are caused by a lack of snail shells on poor soils

162858.  Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:44 am Reply with quote

Ah, snail shells; I wonder if they eat them "off-the-bone"? As Jenny says, thrushes and blackbirds are great Hammers of the Snails, but I've never seen a tit, or even a pair of tits, or even a great big wobbly pile of tits, of any tittish shape, creed or colour, eating out a snail.

162862.  Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:58 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
I've never seen a tit of any variety (stop sniggering at the back there) eat snails.

I'll stop sniggering long enough to contribute:

Great tits like coconuts

Now I'll let you all get back to your erudite conversation.

162868.  Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:10 am Reply with quote

you missed the word "are" out of that sentence Bob.

Molly Cule
164740.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:13 am Reply with quote

In gem terms the phrase 'hen's egg' usually means gigantic.

s Jewels, a secret history

164876.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:57 am Reply with quote

There's an egg-throwing and catching competition every easter holiday in Aldbourne, Wilts.

Not sure if it happened this year though, I didn't see it mentioned last weekend - I bet the health and safety lot got hold of it - they used to do spud-throwing down my way too, but I don't think that happens any more either. They'll stop us all blacking-up and dancing through the streets with coconuts next.

164932.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:12 am Reply with quote

Mind you, elfen safety is often used as an excuse. Round our way, they cancelled ye traditional Mediaeval Street Fayre. The local press was full of fulminations against health and safety and political erectness and so on ... until it turned out that what had actually happened was the volunteers running it had retired, and no other bugger could be bothered to take it on.

Probably it clashed with QI, the hilarious multi award nominated panel game on the BBC’s televisual service.

166417.  Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:42 pm Reply with quote

Something rather beautiful that was on The Blue Planet, shown on public television here this evening. Apparently, on the same day all over the world, corals of the same species release their eggs in ball-shaped globules. The day seems to be determined by the moon and the tide at a particular time of year.

167171.  Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:56 am Reply with quote

You can de-shell a raw egg with a mixture of sulphuric acid and water.

video here

Molly Cule
169686.  Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:56 am Reply with quote

The term 'curates egg' for something which is is a mixture of good and bad comes from a cartoon in Punch magazine entitled 'True Humility'.

In the cartoon a nervous young curate is served a bad egg while a guest at his bishop's breakfast table. Asked whether the egg is to his liking, he stammers: 'Parts of it are excellent!"

cartoon is here -


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