Why? So the chicken can get out, of course.
... And I have an hour or so of spare time on Tuesday afternoons... :-)
It was hard to get good angles on the inside of this without funky shadows, but I got a few decent shots.
So here's the story:
In the mid 1800's, with the discovery of the boneless-skinless chicken, came a huge obstacle for chicken breeders. The problem was of course the shell-less eggs. So, like most of time when something is in the way of a new invention being economically viable, a solution was made. This contraption was steam powered and would keep the eggs warm, and then pop open after a certain number of weeks when the chicken was mature enough to survive outside its egg and move into a bucket. Shortly after the invention of this contraption the technology took off, like it tends to do, and all modern boneless-chicken breeding methods are based off this original design.
Obviously needs more work... Needs more gears and things. But I thought I'd post it as it is right now, since it may be a while before I get a chance to improve it.