Friday, January 14, 2011

Sarasota CLUCK's Top 25 Funky Chicken Facts

Chickley's Believe it or Not!

1) In addition to white and brown eggs, some breeds lay eggs in shades of blue, green, or red-brown, while others lay chocolate colored eggs! 

2) Roosters are not needed for egg production. When a young female hen (pullet) matures she will start laying eggs whether there are males around or not!

3) Chickens may actually have what some would call culture, since mother hens attempt to pass on what they have learned to their chicks!

4)The relatively new website Backyard Chickens has nearly 90,000 registered users and sometimes over 1,500 backyard chicken tenders are online at the same time!

5) "Scarce as hen's teeth" is an expression meant to convey something that doesn't exist, but a Scientific American article Mutant Chicken Grows Alligatorlike Teeth suggests the exception might prove the rule!

6) Research shows chickens have about 24 different vocalizations. University of Connecticut researcher Ebenezer Otu-Nyarko is conducting research in an attempt to understand what each cluck or bwack conveys!

7) The native songbirds in your yard (birds like the common Carolina Wren) will sound louder than the neighbor’s loudest chicken noises due to natural sound reduction with distance!

8) According to National Geographic, some chickens exhibit male features on one side of their bodies and female on the other side. About 1 in 10,000 chickens hatch with this unusual condition and they are called gyandromorphs.

One chicken in corner mirrors- right side has coloration and plumage of a rooster, the left, a hen.

9) Over 75 well-known US cities allow residents to keep chickens! (Click and view page 384Of the ten US cities with the greatest population, all allow chickens (although Philadelphia currently requires 3 acres). Those ten cities have a population greater than 24.5 million people!

11)Chris Evans of Macquarie University in Australia notes chicken’s intriguing ability to understand that an object, when taken away and hidden, nevertheless continues to exist. This is beyond the capacity of small children!
16) Less than a century ago the US government had a campaign: Uncle Sam Expects You To Keep Hens and Raise Chickens. It said that there should be two hens for each person in the household and stated:  In Time of Peace a Profitable Recreation. In Time of War a Patriotic Duty!
18) There are at least three websites dedicated to answering the question: "Why did the chicken cross the road?" ! Joke site. Wikipedia. Philosophers. "Sounds of Chickens"
19) The six cities most attractive to college-educated adults (2007-2009) are Austin, Raleigh, Portland, Riverside, Phoenix, and Charlotte. ALL SIX allow backyard chicken keeping!

20) A recent experiment suggests that chickens may possess empathy. A doctoral candidate at Bristol University measured hen's responses when their chicks were stressed by a puff of air that ruffled the chicks feathers. According to one account of the experiment, "the hens' heart rates increased, their eye temperature lowered - a recognised sign of stress - and they became increasingly alert. Levels of preening were reduced and the mothers made more clucking noises towards the chicks".

21) Toasted chicken feathers could reduce the cost of a single hydrogen powered car by over five million dollars!

Strange "Penguin" Chicken
22) FACT (or FAKERY?): "Penguin" Chicken (left) appears to lead an upright life. Is this creative taxidermy or breakthrough comparable to runner ducks, shown below? We suspect taxidermy because no feeding poses are shown and the birds center of gravity appears to be in front of the feet - an impossibility. See more pics at SOMETHIN BIZARRE.
Well, two more videos of "penguin chickens" have surfaced. One. Two. So we think it is real and wonder if this is the result of disease, injury, a birth defect or is it a trait that can be inherited?
Runner Ducks adopt upright stance

23). Robot hatchling chicks (yume hiyoko) join virtual pet robot dogs and cats in Japan. The photo below shows two robot and one real chick.

24) A 120 pound Great Dane in Canada took a turn watching over 30 baby chicks!

25) They may not be pretty, but so called Transylvanian Naked Neck chickens have a mutation with survival value! 

26) A Colorado man holds two Guinness world records for balancing eggs. He balanced a dozen in 92 seconds and stood 900 on end in a Hong Kong mall! Read more about Brian Spotts and watch a video here.

27) The National Chicken Council estimates that in 2011 over 13.5 billion chicken wings will be marketed as chicken wings (as opposed to wings remaining on other cuts of chicken). Not all of them will be consumed in the U.S. The Council projects "that more than 1.25 billion wing portions will be consumed during Super Bowl weekend in 2011"! 

28) Archaeologists working at the Kingsley Plantation on Fort George Island, Florida found a chicken burial inside the doorway of a slave cabin! They are not sure of the exact meaning, but they believe the sacrificed bird may have been placed there to appease spirits when the structure was built.

29) It seems that in the late 50s the British were concerned that Russia might launch an invasion to the west and they thought ten kiloton nuclear land mines might stop them. The problem was keeping the electronics warm enough and the solution was adding chickens with a supply of food and water. The chickens body heat was to warm the components. When this strategy was revealed, many assumed it was an April fools joke, but the British insist it was a real, but abandoned, strategy. It was code named Blue Peacock.

30) Chicken manure in the Netherlands is expected to produce over 270 million kilowatt hours each year! The biomass 36. 5 megawatt plant in Moerdijk will convert 440,000 tons of chicken manure into enough energy for 90,000 homes!

The following facts are bonus facts specific to Sarasota Florida:

Chickens have been allowed for most of Sarasota's history-- over 85%! The Town incorporated as a City in 1913 and it was not until 2000 that chickens were banned -- partially in direct response to one inconsiderate resident that had accumulated 45 chickens, 40 rabbits, 8 turkeys, 2 pheasants, and a pygmy goat on a single family lot!

Even if code complaints quadruple after passage of our new ordinance, that would still be less than 1% of recent code complaints.  There were nearly 3,000 city code complaints in last two years – only seven of those were chicken related, resulting in only one actual case!

Our Sarasota CLUCK blog has recorded over 30,000 pageviews, despite the fact that it is a local blog focused on backyard chickens in Sarasota!

And here is a completely BOGUS BONUS FACT that is not true: The Onion News Service is reporting:

Genetically Modified Chicken

Lays Its Own Dipping Sauce


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