Thursday, January 14, 2010

Where do chickens come from?

Today on How Do Chickens Work: Where do chickens come from?

Don't worry, this isn't The Talk. (You know, the one about the birds and the... birds.) No, this just tells you two specific locations from which baby chickens can be obtained:

(1) The Post Office. These chickens are boxed up and mailed out from a hatchery the day they are born. They travel along in a Post Office truck, and the next morning, you wait anxiously for the Post Office's 5:30 a.m. notification that your chicks have arrived. When they call, you jam on your shoes and drive happily to the Post Office, bringing your towel like you learned from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy*.

You go behind the scenes at the pre-dawn Post Office, to an area filled with intriguing stacks of boxes and obscure machines and a desk with somebody's coffee and donut crumbs on a napkin. Your box of chickens is peeping audibly. You wrap the box up in your towel, so cold air doesn't get in the vent holes between P.O. and car, and you drive your chickens home.Inside the box, cuteness reaches dangerous levels as the fluffy chicks snuggle each other for warmth.

(2) From beneath a hen. When a hen sits crankily on her nest all day and bites you when you disturb her, she is broody. Broody hens lose all the feathers on their breasts and stomachs, so their warm and kind of sweaty-feeling skin is in direct contact with the eggs. It's like a sauna under there, or an armpit. The broody hen does not know whether the eggs she's sitting on are fertilized or not, and she doesn't care. She just feels driven to assemble a clutch of round things, and be left alone to sit on them. Just about the time she's sick of sitting on round things, if she's lucky, tiny little visitors appear beneath her. And she happily moves on to Mother Hen Mode.

Craziest part of that scenario? The Mother Hen Mothership. It's awesome!

* if you are a nerd

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