Can two live chicks emerge from one egg?

Inspired by Skald’s double yolkthread, I’m just curious: can the same egg produce two live baby chicks? Does it happen?

Growing up on a farm I’ve known horses and cows to have twins ([rarer for them than for a human- it’s extremely rare for both twins to survive- with ours one died at birth from both the mare and the cow]) and we had a goat who gave birth to 5 healthy kids [2 or 3 is usual, 5’s rarer than a human having twins] and once even had conjoined twin kittens [stillborn], and two headed snakes are not uncommon, but I don’t remember there ever having been two chicks born from the same egg (though admittedly most of the eggs we raised weren’t fertilized).

Good question!

Oh, Pullet?

[sub]How cool is it that SDMB has a poultry specialist?[/sub]

Shit! 3 months behind on a page. Sorry.

Everything I’ve heard is that, even if you get two live chicks to come out of a double-yolked egg, they won’t be strong enough to make it for long. There just isn’t enough space or nutrients for them to develop properly.

Better late than never Pullet, thanks for the answer.
I thought chicks came from the egg white. The white is the protein and the yolk is just nutrients. You could get two chicks from a single yolk egg, right?

The DNA containing bit that grows into a chick is that little white (round, not squiggly) spot you can see on the yellow surface of the yolk. I have seen two of them on one yolk in unfertilized eggs.

I know I shared this in another thread, but when we were in the 5th grade doing our embryology unit, we did the old hatching chickens thing. It was obvious pretty early on that my egg had two embryos. The teacher and the guy from the chicken farm tried to switch eggs on me, but I begged them to let me keep the “twins”. They warned me there was no way, in their experience, that either embryo would survive. But I begged and begged, and in the end they let me keep observing my egg. I watched two hearts beating, two fetuses growing, even saw the outline of two tiny beaks. Then one day, there was only one heartbeat. Within a few days, there was an ugly black spot on that side of the egg, and soon the other heartbeat stopped as bacteria from the necrotic tissue killed the other twin. I thought the whole thing was so freaking cool! I wasn’t at all traumatized by the experience like the grown-ups feared.

WhyNot–so they BOTH died? Aww.

Yep. Dead stuff decays, and when you’re in an egg, there’s nowhere to go to get away from it. They did warn me neither one would make it.

(It was so cool! The black blob from the dead chick just spread and spread until I couldn’t see through the egg when I candled it anymore!)

Albumen, it’s called Albumen (the white)

Just sayin’

Anyway, according to Wiki, a double birth from one egg is a no-no as invariably one chick will kill its twin in order to eat the limited amount of nutrient.

On rare occasions a Caesarian has been very carefully done at exactly the right time and both chicks have survived