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Puss - the ugliest chicken in the world?  RSS feed

 
Burra Maluca
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In our bid to get hold of chickens that go broody, we've spent a fortune on buying, importing and incubating various fertile eggs.  We finally got a 'silkie'.  It's feathers are more moth-eaten than 'silky' in my opinion, and she has the sort of face that reminds you how closely birds are related to dinosaurs. 

So what do you guys think?  Is this really the ugliest chicken in the world?




Or should I reserve judgement on the grounds that 'handsome is as handsome does' and see if she goes broody anytime soon... 
 
jacque greenleaf
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Nope. Take a look at a turken.



http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/CGP/Turkens/BRKTurkens.html
 
Burra Maluca
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I used to think Turkens were really ugly too, but it turns out that Portugal has naked neck versions of its three major chicken breeds and I'm slowly being converted. 

Here are some of our young naked necks that we bought, along with a pretty, full feathered, honey-coloured home-bred one, called Melinda. 



They seem to cope better with our super-hot summers, so I'm beginning to not notice how ugly they are.  In fact, I'm almost at the stage I think they look rather handsome.  There are also rumours that they go broody, eventually.  Time will tell.  *Any* chicken that goes broody is beautiful in my opinion!

Now, I wonder what would happen if I crossed one of the naked-necks with the moth-eaten, slikie dinosaur chicken....   
 
John Polk
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Your silky has that look that tells me "Ain't nobody gonna mess with my chicks!"
 
                                
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The uglier they are, the less guilty you'll feel about slaughtering them. 
 
Tyler Ludens
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I got Silkies to brood eggs but the problem is the birds are so small, they can't sit on more than a few standard-sized eggs.  Ours have hatched a couple of their own babies, but not a large number and I'm not planning to replace them.  I've had good luck with Dark Cornish setting and raising chicks.
 
Andrew Greaves
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what does it mean to go broody?
 
jacque greenleaf
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When a hen goes broody, she stops laying eggs and hanging out in the yard. Instead, she starts to sit on a clutch of eggs. If the eggs are fertile, this will result in chicks. For the hen, it's an altered state of consciousness.
 
Andrew Greaves
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are you kidding, jacque g?
 
jacque greenleaf
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No, I'm not kidding. Why do you think I might be?
 
Burra Maluca
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For some reason, a lot of people manage to convince themselves that chickens aren't conscious.  In fact, in some places men believe that women aren't conscious.  But that's patently absurd, of course women are conscious - it's the men that are in doubt   

But seriously, brain functions are controlled by neurotransmitters and hormones, some of which, like adrenaline, function as both.  Mens' hormones are generally more stable, testosterone rushes excepted, so they tend not to understand the huge alterations us women experience as our hormones cycle.  With chickens, broodiness is an all-encompassing desire to make those eggs hatch, and their whole outlook on life, and the way they experience and interpret things, changes as their hormones kick in. 

As we fall asleep, there is a whole cascade of hormone changes that alters which bits of our brain are active, whether or not to 'allow' sensory information through, allows memories from the last day or so to surface easily for further processing, shuts off (most of) the signals that make our limbs move so we don't go off sleep walking or kick our partners out of bed (too often) or talk too much.  Hormones are amazing things, when they work right, and I really have no reason to doubt that broody hens really do experience and altered state of consciousness.
 
Andrew Greaves
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jacque g wrote:
No, I'm not kidding. Why do you think I might be?

i guess that i never associate something as mundane as sitting on a clutch of eggs as being something that alters consciousness. it certainly never happens when i take care of my own children. as you can probably tell, i am new to country talk and i have never seen a chicken go broody, so i just assumed that they did it without an altered state of consciousness.
it would be like aliens who  come to live amongst us and they observe us eating and drinking and it looks  mundane so they assumethat we do it in an unaltered state of consciousness. of course when we drink alcohol, we dont do it unaltered, but they wouldn't know that.
 
Leila Rich
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After the initial clucky, hop on and off broody phase, when chooks are 'sitting tight',  they generally won't get off to eat for what seems like weeks. Sometimes the'll take a quick drink, often they don't even poo. I've seen some pretty impressive first poos after the clutch hatches
Not eating, drinking or shitting sure sounds like an altered state to me!
 
jacque greenleaf
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When I see a truly broody hen, the terms 'blissed out' or 'spaced out' leap immediately to mind. Showing my age here...unless people still use those terms?

Tawny, keep in mind that an active, chatty, social animal like a chicken can't think "OK now, I have to become sedentary and hide in the background for a month." She is operating on hormone-induced emotion, which compels her to alter her behavior profoundly. There is nothing mundane about it. In nature it is a very perilous time, and frankly, I am in awe of it.

And when you had your babies, wasn't your first reaction to them a profound change in your mental state?
 
Andrew Greaves
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chooks? i just looked at dictionary.com. slang for woman or its australian english for a hen. thats a good word to know.
 
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