If we set aside for a while that tired old question about which was first, a person can get to thinking about other important egg laying questions. Such as, if humans laid eggs daily, like a bunch of ladies sitting around in the hen house each morning, how large would these eggs be? Would they be the same size as a baby? Smaller? Larger? Would the, um, laying equipment that is in place be able to function as is or would modification be necessary to lay these human eggs?
I don’t want anyone to get started on that whole mammals don’t lay eggs bit, that has already been discussed. Apparently, eggs do not necessarily follow rules of proportion and don’t change as one would expect according to the size of the bird – according to the Government of Alberta, whom I’m going to go ahead and declare a reputable expert on egg sizes. Their stated example of the lack of a guiding rule of proportion is that of New Zealand’s kiwi bird. The kiwi is about the size of a chicken, but the eggs it lays are about three times larger than the ones sold by the dozen at the supermarket. How does this bird do it? Well, they pretty much max out at laying three eggs per year. That sounds like a totally doable amount of egg laying for our human hen house scenario.
Okay, let’s get down to some nitty-gritty proportions.
Ostrich eggs are about 18 cm long and weigh 1.2 kg. Lady ostrich birds average about 100 kg in weight and 1.8 meters in height. In terms of height, the egg/ostrich ratio 1:10 (10%), and for weight 3/250 (about 1%).
Lady kiwi birds are about 40 cm tall and weigh around 100 grams. Kiwi eggs are about 15 cm long and weigh around 430 grams. As for the egg/kiwi ratio, which we already know will be absurd, for height it is 3:5 (60%) and for weight 10:43 (about 25%).
Chicken eggs are about 65 grams and 5 cm long Hens are about 40 cm tall and also clock in around 2 kg. The ratio for the familiar egg/chicken is 1:8 (12%) for height and 13:400 for weight (about 3%).
What does all of this mean? The size of egg we’d lay as humans would depend on what bird we modeled. And, a host of other variables related to the physiology of the egg and fetus. But! For amusement’s sake, let’s say we want to follow in the footsteps of the barnyard chicken. If we took the digits of an average human female with egg laying capabilities, let’s say she is 5’6″ and 140 lbs, then we’d expect her to lay eggs that were 7.8 inches long and weighted 4.2 lbs. Now, let’s say we wanted the convenience of only having to hit the nest three times a year and modeled the kiwi, our same lady would lay eggs that were 39 inches long and 35 lbs!!!