Not exactly "does a bear shit in the woods?" or "does a whore sweat in church?", but I do still wonder. I’m in the final stages of cleaning up this manuscript, instructed to stet copy-edit corrections if I disagree. There’s a bit where I’m describing why I turned my back on poultry.
"They hadn’t removed the skin. Fine hairs were visible, pores, and follicles. I peeled it back and examined the underside, poking at the gelatinous lining."
In the margin I’m faced with the following query: "feathers?"
I could swear they were fine hairs, not rolled up small feathers. So this leaves me to the Internet in search of the answer, Googling "anatomy of a chicken." "They’re pin-feathers and have a hair-like appearance," it is said. Well, that’s of no use to me. So I press on, looking for a reliable source that sides with me. But I’m unable to pass up one unrelated but intriguing search result: Chick Sexer.
Coolest job title ever. It’s the perfect reply to the pesky question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Kid raises hand. "A chick sexer." Teacher forces said child to sit in corner wearing dunce cap.
Youngster returns the next day with a wiki definition: Chick sexing is the method of distinguishing the sex of chicken hatchlings, usually by a trained person called a chick sexer or chicken sexer.
And teacher scolds the tot for being lazy and relying on wiki. But the kid doesn’t mind so much. Reading up on Vent Sexing* made it all worthwhile.
This is what my life has become. It’s actually kind of fun. It’s almost like being back in the fourth grade where I’m studying the solar and nervous system simultaneously. Almost. I think part of the reason some of us have a strong propensity to procreate is due to our subconscious need to relearn everything we should still know but don’t. To learn the things we never should have forgotten. Like why the moon is sometimes orange and why hermit crabs are always redecorating.
* Vent sexing involves literally squeezing the feces out of the chick, which opens up the rectum (more properly, the cloaca) slightly, allowing the chicken sexer to see if the chick has a small "bump", which would indicate that the chick is a male. Some females have very small bumps, but rarely do they have the large bumps male chicks possess. So basically, the male chicks have hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids, yes. Hair, no.