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The Chicken and Egg Story
Which Came First: The Chicken or the Egg?
Shi-tun Square in front of Human Cultures Hall
January 23 – June 19, 2017


Go to bed with the chickens, get up with the chickens – now that’s a healthy life.

For most of us, the word “chicken” spells a cold, clammy slab of white meat placed on the stand in the traditional market or plucked out of the refrigerated section of the supermarket. In fact, the chicken has actually played more roles across human history. For millennia, people around the world have raised chickens, making them an inseparable part of the economy with deep implications in life. The chicken is a kind of a zelig of human history, which pops up in all kinds of different societies. It is a marker for human exploration, expansion, entertainment, and beliefs. It is also considered as an auspicious animal symbolizing “meritorious renown” and “promotion in rank and office” in ancient China.

The year 2017 corresponds to “dingyou” in the twelve-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac, making it “The Year of Rooster”. The rooster, which signals the break of day, has traditionally been associated with the Sun and believed to chase away darkness and evil with its crowing. In celebration of the upcoming Year of Rooster, the National Museum of Natural Science in collaboration with Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan (TARI), is pleased to present the new “Chicken and Egg Story” touring exhibition at the Shi-tun Square, which will run from January 23 through June 19, 2017.

The Chicken and Egg Story The Chicken and Egg Story The Chicken and Egg Story

Curated by Dr. Yang Chung-hsin at the Museum’s Exhibit Department, the display is four-parted:
"Scientific Knowledge about Chickens and Eggs," introducing the domestication history of chickens, the physical and morphological structures of chickens and eggs, and chickens’ normal behavior.
"Cultural Knowledge about Chickens and Eggs," illustrating the deep religious and social significance of chickens and eggs in the ancient world, and in many cultures today.
"Common Knowledge about Chickens and Eggs," describing the status quo of poultry farming in Taiwan and providing useful information about chickens for meat and eggs.
"Legends of Chickens," introducing Matilda - the world's oldest living chicken, and Mike - the headless chicken.

“In addition to providing practical information about chickens and eggs, the exhibition also increases visitors’ engagement and attendance with the addition of a more hands-on interactive display element to each exhibit,” says Yang, “We try to combine learning and entertainment to create fun learning experiences.”

Start the 2017 Chinese New Year off right by “catching the worm” with an early visit to the National Museum of Natural Science, and surround yourself or your family with the exquisite and diverse displays of chickens and eggs in Chinese culture and art. There is plenty to see and to do in “Chicken and Egg Story” exhibition!


The Chicken and Egg Story is presented by the National Museum of Natural Science
with support from
Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan.

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