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Chickens with lasers

"frickin' lasers!"
  [vote for,

I'm thinking of keeping chickens, my hesitation being due to the large number of foxes (about 10,000) in London. However I think chickens could be trained to react to foxes by pressing a button which activates a number of lasers (just the cheap "laser pointer" kind) to scare the foxes away. Ideally I'd like the chickens to have head-mounted laser pointers to give the impression of mad mutant chickens with laser eyes but that might have to wait.
hippo, Apr 17 2009

Mike http://en.wikipedia...he_Headless_Chicken
[normzone, Apr 20 2009]

Skinner's study of "Superstition in the pigeon" http://en.wikipedia...ition_in_the_pigeon
[zen_tom, Apr 21 2009]

Chicken training courses (.pdf file) http://www.maryland...Press%20Release.pdf
Apparently this should be eminently do-able. [DrBob, Apr 21 2009]


       So close, [hippo]. You had me right up until //laser pointer. If only you had said //Goldfinger-seque, superheated industrial metal-cutting kind//, then there would have been pastry galore.   

       Now, laser pointers *might* scare foxes, but surely they will encourage cats (who like to follow lights and jump on them).
Jinbish, Apr 17 2009

       I hear good things about geese. They are fierce and vigilant, and likely more than a fox can handle. They are also loud and so in the case of human chicken theives the watchgoose could summon help from you or a larger animal (larger than the goose, not you, although larger than you would probably work well too). One or more geese in with the chickens, or perhaps all gesse, could provide some safety as regards urban chicken predators. One might audition a number of geese to make sure that a given watchgoose had the requisite goose aggression yet did not abuse the chickens under its care.
bungston, Apr 17 2009

       1stly I got all the geese you need and am more than happy to air drop them over your house.   

       2ndly Wasn't it Skinner that had those chickens pecking away at some sort of positive reinforcement or something? Or was that just an old wives tale? TRAINABLE... hell they wrote the book on trainable. They pecked all day for a place in history.   

       3rdly Foxes are cool. That's all. Foxes are cool.
blissmiss, Apr 17 2009

       The ultimate plan.   

skinflaps, Apr 17 2009

       just keep em away from my pigeons...
po, Apr 17 2009

       Foxes with mirrors!
xenzag, Apr 17 2009

       But what about Mike (link) ?
normzone, Apr 20 2009

       That's gross [norm] I mean that in a good way...
blissmiss, Apr 20 2009

       If only the birds on 'Chicken Run' had these...
RayfordSteele, Apr 20 2009

       [bliss] I think Skinner's preferred bird was the pigeon - but I don't see any reason why chickens wouldn't respond to a "skinner box".   

       Laser pointers are quite heavy to be held up by a poor chicken's head - you could instead mount the pointer strapped along the neck, pointing upwards from the body, and leave a periscope type thing poking out at the top, maybe one of those mouth-mirrors that the dentist uses?
zen_tom, Apr 21 2009

       [zen] I thought they were the same! (Don't they eat pigeons just like chickens over there?)   

       In the photo I saw they sure looked like chickens. Maybe they were disguised so as to not taint the research results?
blissmiss, Apr 21 2009

       //(Don't they eat pigeons just like chickens over there?)//
Now Madam!, is there any call for that?. I am no more French than the Queen of England and I'll thank you not to slur us with their beastly reputation!.
gnomethang, Apr 21 2009

       Chickens, it seems, are eminently trainable (linky). Simple action/reward seems to be the way to go.

From the intensive 30 seconds that I've spent studying the literature, it seems to me that you could take this further. If you can teach the chickens to associate the smell of fox with the availability of food from different bins and link activation of the bin (via the press of a button) to activation of particular defenses then you could train them into operating all manner of security counter-measures to make M.Reynard's life rather more interesting than he was expecting.
DrBob, Apr 21 2009


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