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Clown noses for chickens

For a happy healthy hen-house
  (+23, -3)(+23, -3)(+23, -3)
(+23, -3)
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In poultry farming, it's common for the young chickens to have part of their beaks cut off. This is so that the chickens don't peck each other to death in the close quarters of the chicken coop. Sometimes the farmers take off too much of the beak and the chicken gets sick or dies. Even if the chickens survive this mutilation, they're half-beakless all their lives. Yet the farmer feels that he has to do it. Chickens cooped up in a hen-house can go into frenzies where they attack each other with their beaks, trying to prove they are top chickens on the totem pole.

What if, instead of de-beaking his chickens, the farmer puts clown noses them? Those sharp beaks would be safely muzzled in globes of red rubber. It would work like a bumper against beak damage.

But also, if you had two chickens face to face, about to attack each other, they would just see each other in their big red noses and crack up laughing. They'd be too busy cackling to fight!

robinism, Jan 15 2005

Comic Relief http://www.rednoseday.com/
[po, Jan 15 2005]

UPC: Debeaking details. http://www.upc-onli...beak_factsheet.html
From a poultry rights advocacy group. [jutta, Jan 15 2005]

(?) The Village - scarey film spoilt by silly great chickens http://video.movies...village/splash.html
[po, Jan 15 2005]

(?) COK: How Free Is “Free-Range”? http://www.cok.net/lit/freerange.php
From another animal rights activist group. [jutta, Jan 16 2005]

The dodo bird http://www.anyonefo...oring/Pix/dodo4.jpg
More proof that natural selection does not favor clown noses [robinism, Jan 19 2005]

Sen. Shurden Wants to Put Gloves On at Cockfights http://www.washingt...9675-2005Jan26.html
"To try to revive [cockfighting], he has proposed that roosters wear little boxing gloves attached to their spurs, as well as lightweight, chicken-sized vests configured with electronic sensors to record hits and help keep score." [jutta, Jan 27 2005]

[link]






       [po], is it just me, or does the guy on the lower left look like he wants a kiss?   

       I wonder why no chickens...
robinism, Jan 15 2005
  

       No, he just wants a peck.
FarmerJohn, Jan 15 2005
  

       Chickens look pretty damn funny to begin with - I'm not sure the noses would change that.   

       Seriously, I'd rather pay more for an (actual, local ...) free range chicken, or eat less meat in general. Industrial meat production is scary, with or without the clown noses.
jutta, Jan 15 2005
  

       Yeah, but I don't trust those organic crop farmers either. It's all healthy happy faces for the media, but you just know that in some barn out the back there are battery cages full of broccoli, hormone force-fed sunflowers and tofu being emotionally blackmailed into tasting "more like chicken, damn you!"
Detly, Jan 15 2005
  

       This is lovely, [rob]. Big +
Pericles, Jan 15 2005
  

       My preference would be for free-range chickens that don't need to fight for space. Wearing clown noses.
wagster, Jan 15 2005
  

       Interesting, but how would they eat?
Aq_Bi, Jan 15 2005
  

       They'd probably clown around at the table, but they just pick at their food anyway.
FarmerJohn, Jan 15 2005
  

       A lot of it is probably to do with productivity versus land, trying to get as much profit out of a hut of chickens as possible without having to expand sideways. What about building chicken skyscrapers instead?
Ian Tindale, Jan 15 2005
  

       Does this chicken taste funny to you?   

       Hee, hee! Very clever [2fries].
wagster, Jan 15 2005
  

       I'd like to take credit but that is just the punch line to the old cannibals eating a clown joke...except with out the chicken.   

       A pecking order is needed [FJ]. Bun ,by the way.
skinflaps, Jan 15 2005
  

       I just got 2 fries joke. Very witty! Bun by the way - nice idea.
energy guy, Jan 16 2005
  

       //What about building chicken skyscrapers instead?//   

       I don't know if the chickens could accept such a drastic change of living arrangements. They are used to the country life. But maybe if it had a really plush lobby and nice elevators...
robinism, Jan 16 2005
  

       I hear you. This invention was very disturbing to research. I didn't know that about "free range"...
robinism, Jan 16 2005
  

       Cute.
Machiavelli, Jan 16 2005
  

       Eat Mor Beef!
reensure, Jan 16 2005
  

       I'd rather see farmers and their direct customers (poultry meat processing factories) forced to wear the clown noses whilst out in public - it might make them consider accepting lower profit margins and raising their livestock in a less obscene way.   

       Perhaps a campaign centred around the clown-nose could help educate the public and shift their buying preferences towards alternative methods of production and away from goods processed using these ugly centralised, mass-production style methods.   

       A plus for raising the issue, however, the adoption of red-nose technology would still not make me consider KFC as a viable place for dinner.
zen_tom, Jan 17 2005
  

       //Chickens cooped up in a hen-house can go into frenzies where they attack each other with their beaks, trying to prove they are top chickens on the totem pole.// This sounds like some places I've worked. Seriously, I'd like this idea if there were consideration given to [Aq_Bi]'s question of "how would they eat?"
Zimmy, Jan 18 2005
  

       [Zimmy], It seemed impossible at first. They say you should approach impossible problems like this by thinking outside the box, but I found a better way - thinking inside the nose!   

       One natural way for chickens to feed is to peck the ground and pick up seeds. If there were seeds loose INSIDE the rubber nose, then when the chicken leaned over to peck the ground, the seeds would fall to the lowest part of the clown nose, right where the chicken is pecking. The chicken could peck the seeds from the inside of his own red nose.   

       To make this work, the farmer would have to resupply each clown nose with chicken feed regularly. And the nose would have to fit loosly enough that the chicken could open its mouth the normal amount for pecking seeds.   

       When the chicken is upright, the seeds would fall to the chinward part of the nose, out of the way of breathing and choking.   

       Things like IVs and drinking straws are out, because we want the feeding to feel as natural as possible for the chickens.
robinism, Jan 19 2005
  

       Oddly enough, I have been thinking about this off and on & thought that a 'pac man' type clown nose would still allow the chickens to pick up feed while still preventing the damaging gorings that happen.   

       buscuit w/ a side of gravy.
Zimmy, Jan 19 2005
  

       [Zimmy], I thought of a pac-man type clown nose too, but the chickens seem to prefer super mario brothers, and besides, a pac-man mouth is only good for gulping energy pills, which are banned by the USDA. (Those things are full of hormones!)   

       As Charles Darwin pointed out, each bird species' beak design fits the way that species feeds, (thanks to natural selection), whether it's cracking shells, probing crevices, catching fish, or pecking seeds. The chicken's beak, likewise, is perfectly designed for its task. It curves downward, as does the mouth opening, and the chicken uses this hooked beak to grab seeds. (see UPC link for a picture.) Just the fact that natural selection did not provide chickens with a pac-man mouth suggests to me that that configuration is not optimal.   

       In order to allow the chicken to eat with the pac-man mouth, we would have to design the clown nose to follow the contour of the beak somewhat, so that the chicken could still grab and ingest seeds. Even with the best contouring, the chickens would still feel like they'd been shot up with novacaine. Occupational therapy and rehab would be needed, so the chickens could learn to eat all over again.   

       I also wonder how a mouth that can grab seeds can also be harmless to other birds. The jaw muscle is still very strong. We would have to design the pac-man mouth with no sharp edges and no pinching ability. I don't know how to reconcile these two conflicting goals, short of teaching the chickens how to use forks and knives, or designing the lower lip like a blunt-edged shovel, for scooping up seeds and then flinging them down the throat.   

       Also, I think that the visible line at the mouth opening would look kind of creepy, and detract from the clownish look we want.   

       So for all these reasons, I slightly prefer the eating-inside-the-nose approach.
robinism, Jan 19 2005
  

       //Mason & Singer, Animal Factories, 1990, p. 39, note de-beaking started around 1940 when a San Diego poultry farmer found if he burned off the upper beaks of his chickens with a blowtorch, they were unable to pick and pull at each other's feathers.//   

       How did he find this out...
DesertFox, Nov 15 2006
  

       Chickens will peck at anything red or moving. Chickens will also peck each other to death if they are free ranging (this happens if they get an injury that bleeds). I think there have been attempts to put red contact lenses on chickens to keep them from just this sort of thing, this was/is used to keep with the free ranging humane thing. Maybe the barnyard bugs could be fitted with little clown noses this would make them easier to spot and Cheer up the chickens.
pydor, Nov 15 2006
  

       Just googled the chicken contact thing, it seems these contacts actually were found to make a miserable life even worse.
pydor, Nov 15 2006
  

       In the land of chickens with red contact lenses, the blue-eyed chicken is king. (And pecks out all the other chicken's eyes)
zen_tom, Nov 15 2006
  

       [+] too cool!
xandram, Aug 13 2011
  

       You realize you're going about this all wrong, I suppose? Anything on the chicken's beak is going to interfere mightily with feeding.   

       What you need, obviously, is Chicken Sombreros. Glued in place, or held by a small buckled chin-strap, the wide brims of the sombreros would prevent beak-to-beak combat.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 13 2011
  

           //but how would they eat?//  And how would they smell? A: terrible! Badda-bing
AusCan531, Aug 14 2011
  
      
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