Unexpectedly Intriguing!
11 March 2022

They say you should never count your chickens before they're hatched, but what if you're in the business of selling eggs?

In the days before modern poultry surveillance technology, working out how many eggs your chickens were laying could be a time consuming affair. But in 1964, Swedish inventor Hans Eugen Birch-Iensen came up with an innovative solution, which led to his filing patents in several countries. In the United States, Birch-Iensen was awarded U.S. Patent 3,123,044 for his invention of a special harness that egg-laying hens could wear that incorporates an egg counter for recording the laying of each egg, as soon as it is laid.

Figure 1 of the patent illustrates Birch-Iensen's concept:

U.S. Patent 3,123,044 Figure 1

Sadly, the egg-counting chicken harness never really caught on. While it might make sense for the egg farmer raising a handful of chickens in their back yard, it wouldn't make sense for a modern poultry egg producing facility. The amount of labor needed to dress up hundreds, if not thousands of hens in egg-counting harnesses would be very cost prohibitive.

But that doesn't mean you can't get a harness for your pet chicken! There are many available at Amazon, just not any that will count eggs as they might be laid....

Amazon - Chicken Harnesses

From the Inventions in Everything Archives

The IIE team has previously covered the following related inventions:


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