Dustin’s Arbitrary Mondays: Eggs-factly

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Who knew eggs could cause such logistical problems?
Photo courtesy of come-home-to-health.com

 

Dustin Christianson
Guest Blogger

According to statistics, 1.3 trillion chicken eggs are laid across the globe by chickens world-wide. Since, on average, humans waste about 1/3 of global food production, annually, about 0.45 trillion of these eggs are then precisely that. Anyway, 1.3 trillion is a lot of eggs, and, either way, about 185 eggs per person, per year — 60 of which are wasted.

Though the majority of these eggs are unfertilized, they are still physical units of chicken reproduction and thereby they are potentially chickens. Additionally, each non-fertilized egg is an opportunity where a rooster may have, himself, got laid!

According to other statistics, each chicken — if granted a reasonable measure of luxury — takes up about 144inches^2 of ground space and needs about nine inches of headroom. 144in^2 = 900cm^2. If then, somewhat miraculously, all of our annually produced 1.3 trillion eggs were somehow both fertilized and hatched, the resulting population of chickens (if surviving and growing into adulthood) would require, themselves, a space/area of 1.17×10^12cm^2, or 1.17×10^8m^2 (117,000,000m^2).

Again according to statistics, the earth's surface is about 29.2 per cent land, or 148,940,000km^2 (1.49×10^14m^2). Of the earth's total land area, then, 1.3 trillion chickens (if hatched and raised to adulthood) would require approximately 0.00000078 per cent. This for only one layer of chicken housing. If the chicken coops are stacked in layers upon one another, even less land/area is necessary, and chickens may be placed, theoretically, high up into the sky.


"Since 1.3 trillion chickens need just 0.00000078 per cent of the earth's surface, if given one per cent of the earth's surface one might expect to fit 1.3×1,000,000 trillion chickens in such a small space. That's over one million trillion chickens, each a natural-profit-producing machine that is also edible!"


This is then more feasible than I had expected; initially, I thought that 1.3 trillion chickens would likely cover the entire surface of the earth, and thus I undertook the rigorous mathematics to deem myself correct. Yet, I have instead proven myself wrong by a mere six or seven orders of magnitude. We might even go so far as to dedicate a whole one per cent of the earth's surface to chicken production to suit our money-making-mania, if we were so inclined.

Since 1.3 trillion chickens need just 0.00000078 per cent of the earth's surface, if given one per cent of the earth's surface one might expect to fit 1.3×1,000,000 trillion chickens in such a small space. That's over one million trillion chickens, each a natural-profit-producing machine that is also edible!

If, in our intense drive for profit — and chicken — we took to filling the whole land mass of the earth with chickens, as we might certainly do, perhaps on a whim, then we could expect to fit upwards of 100 million trillion chickens comfortably upon our land. This number could then double or triple or quadruple or infinituple as we built upwards in layers of chickendom. Of course, we shall then have to move to the sea, and this leaves no room at all for walking between chickens to collect eggs and such, but who needs them anyway?

No topic is off limits in Dustin's Arbitrary Mondays. Dustin Christianson is a student of philosophy at the University of Regina, currently researching (in experientio) the relationship between procrastination and student debt. He aspires to one day commentate upon the drudgery that befalls us all within the happenstance of daily on-goings, but also enjoys enjoying enjoyable humanoid behaviours and often laughs at things which are amusing.

Want to guest blog for the Carillon? Contact technical editor Jonathan Hamelin at carillontechnical@carillonregina.com

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