When I thought of chickens, prior to THE search, thoughts of KFC or my father-in-law (a poultry broker) came to mind. All that changed the day I googled “debeaking chickens”. Why would I google such a thing? You see, I have a compulsion to obtain obscure facts and debunk urban myths. They come in handy at cocktail parties when you have nothing to say. That fated google search changed my life. I learned that while I did not find chickens that were mutilated and faceless due to the complete lack of a beak, I did find out how interesting chickens are and some disturbing facts about the egg and poultry industry (more on that later). And most importantly, I learned that chickens have heart, chickens have soul. I learned I wanted my very own chickens. This posed a small problem. I share my father-in-law’s first name which did cause my wife pause when considering our first date. My good looks and vast knowledge of obscure factoids won her over, and 16 years later the only dark cloud that hung over our happy home was her refusal to grant my wish for pet chickens. As I mentioned earlier, the father-in-law is a poultry broker. His boat bears the name ‘chickenman’. My wife wasn’t budging on this one and so my 8 year obsession with chickens began.
4 weeks ago