That Chicken-and-Egg Thing

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

That Chicken-and-Egg Thing

May 30, 2017

Maybe you’ve heard the joke “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” After all, the chicken had to come from an egg, but the egg had to be laid by a chicken…Luckily our fan Jeremy L. asked us a question we could answer: how many chickens are hatched every day? Well, the US produces 9 billion chickens each year, so if those were the only eggs and the same number were born each day, we can divide by 365 days to get almost 25 million eggs per day! But hens don’t all lay the same number every day. Your usual chicken can lay as many as 5 eggs in a week, but younger hens lay more eggs than older ones. Also, some breeds (types) of chickens lay more eggs than others. Either way, we’re thinking the chicken came first.

Wee ones: Chickens walk on 2 legs, and can flap their wings. Take 6 steps forward while flapping your arms. Squawk like a chicken if you want!

Little kids: Often chickens lay an egg every other day. If a chicken lays an egg on Sunday, what are the next 2 days she will lay an egg?  Bonus: By the next Sunday, how many will she have laid in total?

Big kids: If you have 10 chickens, and half lay 20 eggs apiece this month while the other half each lay 10 eggs, how many eggs do they lay all together?  Bonus: If 25 million eggs are laid each day, and the US has 325 million people, how many days does it take to lay an egg for each person? (Hint if needed: To start, how many days does it take to reach 100 million?)

The sky’s the limit: If a hen lays eggs only at times between 6 am and 6 pm when the hour and minutes add up to 62, how many eggs does she lay in one day?




Wee ones: Step 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6!

Little kids: Tuesday and Thursday.  Bonus: 4 eggs (Sun., Tues., Thurs. and Sat.).

Big kids: 150 eggs (100+50).  Bonus: 13 days.

The sky’s the limit: 10 eggs. She lays 1 egg each hour — at 6:56, 7:55, 8:54, and so on through 12:50.  But she then can’t lay one until 3:59, because there’s no time in the 1 or 2 hours that can add to 62. She then continues at 1 per hour until 5:57 pm.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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