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Now *that’s* a funky chicken

It’s a breed called Modern Game and it’s endangered.

There’s an article in this month’s Practical Poultry — or as Uncle B calls it, Chickens and Chickening — about Britain’s vanishing chicken breeds. According to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, twenty species of British domestic animals went extinct between 1900 and 1970.

I never thought about that before. It’s not like plants; you can’t stockpile seeds in some cryogenic warehouse. It’s even more precarious than wild animals, for whom you can only provide the habitat and hope for the best.

For domestic stock, somebody has to be out there actively keeping the line alive and not letting it get fatally outbred or dangerously inbred.

Funny you never hear of endangered livestock breeds — considering all the howling and handwringing about endangered wildlife, where the number of actual modern extinctions approximates zero.

That’s because the eco nuts think domestic animals aren’t “real” animals somehow. Or, worse, they’re some kind of evil species traitors for cooperating with sinful humans.

Stupid hippies.

I just finished Temple Grandin‘s Animals in Translation — which I can definitely recommend if you find animal behavior interesting. She’s the autistic PhD who designs abattoirs.

When asked how someone who loves animals can build slaughterhouses, she points out — no slaughterhouses, no animals.

Or as someone else put it, if you want to get an animal off the endangered list, convince humans it tastes good.


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 7, 2010, 11:06 pm

Ha! I took one look at them and the immortal ‘Meep! Meep!’ went through my head.

Very, very quickly.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: July 7, 2010, 11:55 pm

oh god, i’m truly loosing it. I was reading today’s post, and suddenly my brain was awash with horribly mutilated quotes from the movie “Highlander”… ‘There can be only one – skinny chicken’, or ‘The Chickening’……

If you could take a pic of a white chicken and over-brighten it like the NuclearKitteh pic, you’d have a great shoo-in for a poultry version of “Quatermass and the pit”…

Comment from Spad13
Time: July 8, 2010, 1:52 am

UB, with a cloud of dust behind it, thru a mountain with a tunnel opening painted on I assume.

Comment from Randy Rager
Time: July 8, 2010, 2:40 am

Breed ’em on ranches and make ’em taste like chicken!

If we’d tried that with bald eagles, we’d be damned near swimming in the pesky old things.

Comment from The Jannie
Time: July 8, 2010, 6:38 am

I seem to remember reading somewhere that because they taste good, the least endangered species are chickens and cattle.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: July 8, 2010, 6:56 am

Those chickens aren’t nearly as cute as yours, Stoaty. Maybe that’s why they’re endangered. 🙂

Comment from scubafreak
Time: July 8, 2010, 7:30 am

Actually nina, I think we’ve finally figured out where rubber chickens originally came from…..

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 8, 2010, 11:09 am

That’s the one, Spad13. My favourite cartoons evah!

Comment from surly ermine
Time: July 8, 2010, 1:58 pm

I’m sure its likely to have been brought up before but is anyone else enjoying the irony of this Weasel’s infatuation with the hen house?

Yeah, my wife’s family have Guernsey milk cows which are on “watch” status with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. And in case you were wondering, yes they are tasty.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: July 8, 2010, 4:25 pm

That might be it, Scuba!

Comment from Og
Time: July 8, 2010, 5:02 pm

While on the subject of humane treatment of livestock. I read an article about an ex-veg extolling the wonders of meat. He was in the UK and he mentioned somebody coming out to the farm, wearing some traditional outfit, with an air(?) pistol and killing the sheep for him out in the field. Anybody know what’s going on there or was it a lack of reading comprehension on my part that shoved that memory into my skull? Seems the humane thing to do if you can’t pack your own pistol I suppose.

Oh, and who would want to breed skinny chickens? No great loss if they die out.

Comment from JuliaM
Time: July 8, 2010, 5:24 pm

Doubt it was an airpistol – more likely a captive-bolt humane killer.

On the subject of rare breeds, the BBC’s ‘Countryfile’ show has been doing quite a bit of focussing on them lately. ‘Country Life’ magazine does the occasional article too.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: July 8, 2010, 11:22 pm

Rander Rager: Here in Wisconsin, along the Wisconsin River, we almost are hip deep in Bald Eagles. We have the highest population of them in the Lower 48. There is one in particular, that I remember seeing, about 12 years ago, below the dam in Sauk Prarie, that when I saw her, ( female Bald Eagles are larger than the males), my first thought was, ” Wait a minute, aren’t Piper Cubs supposed to be yellow? ”

Truly magnificent beasts, I am happy every time I see one.

Comment from Susan G.
Time: July 8, 2010, 11:25 pm

I am a big fan of Temple Grandin and recommend all her books, especially “Thinking In Pictures”.

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