What came first, the chicken or the egg?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” and provide information on how eggs evolved, when chickens came into existence, whether a chicken came first as well as what came first according to the Bible.

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

The egg came first. This is because it was seen that eggs showed up about 340 million years ago whereas chickens came into existence around 58 thousand years ago.

Eggs existed way before chickens came. This is because certain animals laid eggs. Eggs of many shapes and sizes were present.

How did eggs evolve?

Earlier, eggs did not have amniotic fluids and they were prone to drying up quickly. As a result, some animals used to lay their eggs near ponds or other river bodies.

Slowly, eggs started to undergo evolution. This is when eggs began to develop 3 membranes namely chorion, amnion, and allantois. There were fluids present in the amnion. They prevented eggs from drying.

Slowly, eggs started to have more layers which made them bigger and better. Animals started to lay eggs on land or bury them in the soil as it has amnion which prevents dryness. This gives a clear indication of how amniotic eggs existed way before chickens did.

However, chicken eggs did not come first. This is because chickens are required to lay eggs and there are certain proteins present in chickens that are required to fasten up the process of egg production.

When did chickens come into existence?

Chickens came into existence because of a genetic mutation. These mutations were brought on by 2 proto chickens (2 almost chickens) that mated. This resulted in the production of the first chicken after the DNA of two proto chickens was combined.

The jungle fowl are thought to be the closest ancestors to proto-chickens. Certain archaeological evidence even suggests that jungle fowl was domesticated 10,000 years back. The hybridization of these species further led to the production of more chicken species.

Did a chicken come first?

Some scientists claim that a chicken came first. This is because egg shells are made up of calcium carbonate. Chickens can obtain calcium from prawns and oyster shells. For the formation of egg shells, calcium has to accumulate on calcium carbonate crystals.

Also, specific proteins need to be further required to form an egg. A protein called Ovocleidin-17 (OC-17) is present in the ovary of hens. As OC-17 is required for the production of eggs, it is believed by some scientists that chicken came first.

What came first according to the Bible?

According to the Bible, on day 5 of Creation week, God created mature birds. These mature birds had the capability to lay eggs. As a result, the chicken came first according to some sacred books. 

These birds were seen to multiply and started to evolve. This resulted in the formation of different species of chicken. 

According to some religious texts, God helped in placing diversity in the genes of the original mature birds. This diversity was passed onto the offspring which eventually became a chicken. 

What is the origin of this question?

This question was originally posed by Plutarch (Greek philosopher) though Aristotle (Another Greek philosopher) emphasized this idea. 

In the 5th Century, Macrobius (grammarian and philosopher) brought it up by emphasizing that even though the question seemed insignificant, it needs to be regarded with importance.

What are some parts of an egg?

An egg has 4 parts. These include shell, airspace, albumen, and yolk. The shell of an egg helps to protect the egg. When an eggshell cracks, the chicks come out. Thus, these shells protect chicks or the contents present in them.

The air space is an air pocket present between the albumen and shell of an egg. It acts as a cushion for chicks and protects them from injuries.

The yolk is the yellow-colored part of an egg. A small white spot present in the yolk is called an egg cell from which a chick comes out. The yolk consists of protein and fats which can provide nutrition to chicks.

Albumen is a substance that is present around the yolk. Another term for albumen can be egg white. Small strands found on egg white are called chalazae. 

Chalazae can help in holding egg yolk in place. Eggs that are brought in grocery are infertile. This means that chicks will not come out of it.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” and provided information on how eggs evolved, when chickens came into existence, whether a chicken came first as well as what came first according to the Bible.




Leave a Comment