To ensure that its graduates can discharge their duties with the absolute minimum of human warmth, Indiana University Police Academy challenges recruits not to laugh when a squeaky rubber chicken is slowly introduced to their field of vision and then squeezed.
I definitely prefer to be policed by the failures! Read the rest
It would be gauche of me to explain this wonderful moment of web video, but I feel obliged to protect you from any potential disappointment with respect to the interactions of rubber chickens and ceiling fans. It's a sample from this performance by Vitas, Russia's answer to Babylon Zoo:
(Nor is the the first wedding of Russian glam pop and chickens)
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"Who are these people?"
Megan Fogarty posted this wonderful video of kindergarteners singing "Happy Birthday" to a hatching chicken.
UPDATE: Chickens return the compliment:
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If you enjoyed British supermarkets' bleach-dipped rotten turkeys, perhaps you like to try their antibiotic-resistant superbug-infested chickens.
The FSA has also noted that the proportion of campylobacter-infected chickens which showed resistance to key antibiotics, in this case ciprofloxacin, “has increased significantly” compared with a previous survey of chickens sold at retail 10 years ago. More than 4,000 samples were tested, then samples of smaller numbers exhibiting campylobacter infections retested to detect whether they carried bacteria resistant to the key antibiotics. Ciprofloxacin resistance was identified in more than half of the samples of one form of campylobacter tested, 237 out of 437 tests on Campylobacter jejuni, and in nearly half (52 out of 108) of another strain, Campylobacter coli.
The results were taken by experts to show that the use of antibiotics to treat farm animals is giving rise to the spread of resistant bacteria, which can have major effects on human health because one of the main methods of transmission to many strains of resistant bacteria is through contact with livestock in the food chain. While proper hygiene practices and thorough cooking can kill the bugs, any lapses can result in serious infection.
The paper: "A Microbiological survey of campylobacter contamination in fresh whole UK produced chilled chickens at retail sale".
Post-Trump/Brexit omni-deregulation shall be a splendid affair.
Photo: Bertie Charman Read the rest
I have a new favorite thing and it's this amazing UFO chicken coop. Its creators, the folks at Backyard Chickens, write:
When we expanded our flock this Summer, we knew a larger coop would be necessary. As an artistic couple, I knew it couldn't be just any coop..... and as UFO nerds, we had the perfect plan!
Brainstorming the UFO spaceship design was a very quick process as there were so few "up-cycle" options that would get us a classic UFO shape. We quickly determined that the satellite dish would be a stellar foundation. We located two 10 foot dishes on our local Craigslist page and jumped straight into this project. We knew it would need to be completed in time for a harsh Idaho winter.
In the words of Veruca Salt, "I want it now!"
(Geekologie, Techanbob) Read the rest
Franco Muñoz presents a Despacito cover by "Mr. Chicken." You will get exactly what you have been promised. (Thanks, Heather!) Read the rest
Fred Eaton's chicken is a slacker. [YouTube] Read the rest
In this heartwarming example of interspecies friendship, a monkey named Fedor makes haste to visit his pet chickens and goat.
[via] Read the rest
Greenfire Farms is the premier breeder of Ayam Cemani, a chicken that is all-black. Even the inside of its mouth is black. Its eggs, of course, are pure white. Chicks sell for $199.
The Indonesian chicken breed known as Ayam Cemani takes ‘dark’ into an entirely different realm. Their feathers are black. Their skin is black. Cut open an Ayam Cemani and you’ll find black muscle anchored to black bones. Even their organs are black. And what do you get for all this unrelenting blackness? One of the most beautiful chickens in the world; a chicken so spectacular and exotic that it is referred to as the “Lamborghini of poultry.”
In Asia, Ayam Cemani are renowned as much for the mystical powers of their black meat as they are for their extraordinary ink-black feathers that shimmer with a metallic sheen of beetle green and purple.
Images: Greenfire Farms
[via] Read the rest
At Grove Farm in Bonnyrigg, Scotland, this strawberry was said by farmers Reuben and April Welch to look "exactly like a chicken," reports Civil Eats.
One hopes they are not chicken farmers. Read the rest
Entirely happy to use the word "chickenosaurus," NBC News reports that scientists are getting closer to creating a throwback creature by messing with avian DNA: "From a quantitative point of view, we're 50 percent there," a professor of paleontology told them.
The illustration is by Karl Tate of LiveScience.com Read the rest
Werner Herzog thinks chickens are foul beasts. (via Laughing Squid) Read the rest
The United States began phasing out the use of tetraethyllead in gasoline in the mid 1970s (though it's still used in aviation and race car fuel). The pollution from TEL-enhanced gas, however, continues to linger in the soil, especially in cities, where concentrations of tailpipe emissions were higher. A recent study of New York City chickens found that lead from the soil was showing up in detectable levels in the chickens' eggs. The dose is low (though you probably don't want young children eating lots of those eggs), but it's a great example of how the effects of pollution don't vanish just because the pollution ends. Read the rest
The answer: Because of a harmless-to-humans viral infection.
The bluish egg above was laid by an araucana, a breed of chicken native to Chile and one of two breeds well known for occasionally popping out a blue egg. Turns out, it's the result of the chicken being infected with a retrovirus — a virus that can insert its own genetic information into the host's DNA. In this case, the virus just happens to turn eggs blue.
Image: Lavender Araucana, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from julianjb's photostream
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These chicks, dyed in the egg before hatching, were sold as pets for 4 pesos (8 U.S. cents) at a market in Manila, The Philippines. WikiHow offers instructions for dying your own chicks, while The New York Times reports the downside of all that impulse-bought cuteness: humane societies overflowing with now-normal chickens a few weeks after Easter. (Photo: REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo) Read the rest
This happened in my friend's henhouse this morning.
My friend Kate Hastings, who took this photo, thinks this egg froze because the hen cracked it slightly. But it also looks like the kind of expansion cracking that you can get when eggs freeze and burst their own shells. When the water in the egg white and yolk freezes, it forms a crystalline structure — and that structure isn't very tightly packed. There's lots of space between the molecules, which means that solid ice takes up more space than the liquid it replaced. If the egg freezes solid enough, it's got nowhere left to expand except outside the shell.
Eggshells, as it turns out, are not a great insulator from the cold. Chicken butts are, but chickens also don't always sit on their eggs consistently enough to keep those eggs from freezing.
One side note: You can actually thaw and eat frozen eggs. But you shouldn't thaw and eat an egg like this. That's because the shell is actually a pretty good barrier against bacteria. If a fresh egg — the kind sitting under a hen — has cracked, there's a higher likelihood of bacterial infiltration.
Thanks to Kate and Grampaw!
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