The Marvelous Chicken: The History, Use, And Raising Of Chickens

2259 words - 10 pages

The Marvelous Chicken
Today, chickens born of pinpoint-focused genetics are raised by the millions in factory farms. The industrial frying chicken is physiologically adapted to gain weight so that it’s ready for the skillet in six weeks. Modern hybrid laying hens are so efficient that they don’t even think of sitting on eggs (Will).
To understand the importance of chickens, one must know their history, their many uses, and how one can raise them effectively. Chickens are complex creatures that have greatly impacted history. Leading animal behavior scientists say that chickens have advanced cognitive ability: in some circumstances they are more advanced than cats, dogs, and primates (“Hidden”). This paper, written in the format of the Modern Language Association (MLA), discusses the history of chickens, there numerous uses, and how one can successfully raise them.
Chickens have a diverse history full of unexpected facts. Chickens were first domesticated in Southeast Asia from wild birds, and “it is the belief of many archaeologists that chickens were first domesticated not for eating but for cockfighting” (Adler). However, today cockfighting is illegal in the United States because it is thought to be inhumane. Chickens are thought to the most numerous birds populating the earth. In the United States alone, there are 8.5 billion chickens are killed every year. That adds up to 272 chickens killed every second (Geer). Chickens are often thought of as mindless animals; however, that is not the case.
Chickens are actually highly intelligent animals with attributes similar to those of primates. “Even when an object is taken away from the chicken and hidden they are able to comprehend that is still exist. Not many animals have the ability to do this and neither do young human children” (Geer). When chickens are in their natural surroundings they are able to do many amazing things: they form social hierarchies, or “pecking orders,” every chicken knows its place and is able to recognize one hundred different beings including humans (“Hidden”).
Chickens are a very vocal species with more than thirty different sounds used to communicate. A mother hen begins teaching her chick these calls even before the chick has hatched. She does this by clucking to her chick from outside its shell; the chick will then chirp back to the hen emulating the sounds (“Hidden”). Chickens are highly intelligent animals but it is their quality products that make them so desirable.
Chickens produce a wide variety of products: meat, eggs, and feathers. Chicken meat is a very popular meal item, partly because it comes in a variety of cuts such as whole chickens, halves, breast quarters, boneless skinless split breasts, drumsticks, wings, boneless skinless leg, boneless skinless thigh, giblets (heart, liver, and neck). A common cut is the eight piece cut. The eight piece cut is when the whole bird is cut into two breast halves, two wings, two thighs with the back portion, and also...

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