Raising chickens 2400 years ago

Yes, it is something older than it seems. Chicken farming has existed for at least 2,400 years. An international team of archaeologists, historians and scientists presented the evidence.

The article was published in Nature Communications. Studies the dispersal of domestic chickens in Eurasia and northeast Africa. Eggshell fragments collected from 12 archaeological sites were used. They span approximately 1,500 years. Researchers show that chickens were widely bred in Central Asia from about 400 BC. C. until 1000 AD. C. They probably dispersed along the ancient Silk Road.

There is evidence that chicken farming existed 2,400 years ago.
There is evidence that chicken farming existed 2,400 years ago.

collecting shells

The abundance of eggshells further suggests that the birds were raised out of season. This prolific egg-laying made the domestic chicken so attractive to ancient people.

To reach these conclusions, the team collected dozens of eggshell fragments. It did so at sites located along the main Central Asian corridor of the Silk Road. They then used a biomolecular analysis method called ZooMS to identify the source of the eggs. Identify species from animal remains, such as bones, skin and shells.

The researchers reached an important conclusion. The birds must have laid eggs more frequently than their wild ancestor, the red junglefowl. This nests once a year and normally lays six eggs per clutch.

“This is the earliest evidence of the loss of seasonal egg laying.” Says Dr. Robert Spengler, leader of the Domestication and Anthropogenic Evolution research group. “It is an important clue to better understand the mutualistic relationships between humans and animals that gave rise to domestication.”

This activity soon became very successful.
This activity soon became very successful.

The chicken or the egg

The new study suggests an answer to the ancient chicken-and-egg conundrum. The ability to lay a multitude of eggs is what made the chicken the chicken we know today: a global species of enormous economic importance.

The success of chicken farming 2,400 years ago continues to this day, with millions of birds spread around the world.

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