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Calle 1 Katherine Calle December 8, 2011 Professor Squier Chicken Culture Chicken Culture Research Paper

Chickens have come a long way from being the free ranged backyard chicken. From being highly admired culturally in past years and being kept as pets, today chickens are seen as a source of nutrition in most cases. Although not as popular as in today’s world human consumption of the chicken is dated to thousands of years back. When we think of chickens we typically picture the chickens that are packaged and sitting in our grocery stores, each and everyone looking exactly the same, in fact, there are many different breeds of chickens varying in innumerable ways. Not only are there many different breeds of chickens but certain breeds serve a certain purpose, whether it is exhibition, meat production or egg production. So what are the differences between these breeds and their purposes? If you look past the domestic chicken being part of your daily diet, you will find that there are certain breeds of chickens that exhibition is their primary and only use. These chickens are seen as the “odd” looking ones, but in reality their qualities are quite particular. With these types of chickens there is a wide variety of characteristics, form the egg size to the comb type and temperament. Although we don’t pay much mind to them, their history can be quite amusing especially to the aspiring chicken breeder. Poultry exhibition might sound rare to some but in reality it is very common. This type of exhibition dates years back when it was normal to judge a chicken on its size and quality, such as

Calle 2 in a regular “modeling show” where woman are being judged on their appearance and qualities. It might be awkward to compare chickens to women, but some people see them in many similar ways. For example, chickens and woman are both used in today’s world for egg production. A type of breed that is used only for exhibition purposes is the Polish. Polish chickens come from the Netherlands and date back to the 1800's. Bearded ones come in all different colors from orange-black to white and blue. Non bearded ones come in black, white and blue. Polish chickens originally were known as egg layers but due to their non-reliability they are now used for ornamental purposes. They lay white eggs and are too small to be meat birds. They are known to be very friendly birds and have somewhat of an obscured vision due to their crests. Another type of ornamental bird is the Silkie. The silkie chicken was first developed in the Southeast Asia .It was viewed as a medicinal food item because of its black skin and bones. It was said to be particularly good to help the human immune system. It also is reported to treat many different diseases such as diabetes, anemia, female reproductive functioning and postpartum disorders. Later, silkies, were most valued for their ability to incubate eggs. Silkies are not as flighty and energetic as other birds and easy to catch and grow. The larger the crest on the birds heads the more difficulty they have seeing in a normal environment. Silkies are very docile animals and are being kept as pets due to their low manitainence and friendly character. Chickens have become more of a market in today’s world. Large corporations have turned the simple backyard chicken into a money making machine to fulfill the demand of human consumption. They have turned a versatile animal into a single functioning machine. Chickens can be used for their meat, eggs, and for exhibition or simply as pets but science has made it so that a single type of chicken is used for meat and a specific type of hen is used only for egg production.

Calle 3 Chicken in today’s market have been modified to have bigger breast and faster production. Large corporations such as Tyson or Purdue have modified the chicken to grow big and fast. The Cobb 500 and Cobb 700 are two breeds of chickens that are used in the industry for meat production. The Cob 500 is the world’s most efficient broiler with the lowest feed cost. The Cobb 700 is used in the deboned products such as breast meat. These two birds are low cost, low maintenance, fast growing, and are able to keep up with the high demand of chickens around the world. As I read the different types of breeds on of them stood out to me among the other, the Aseel breed. The Aseel breed is the oldest breed of game fowl. It started being bred in India for cockfighting more than five thousand years ago. The birds are said to have been kept by the princess of India for their qualities. This was very intriguing because when I think of cock fighting India does not come to mind. The hen only lays one to three eggs a year and the bird is said to be very aggressive thus them being fighting birds. The name Aseel is a Hindu word meaning aristocratic. This bird stood out to me because as you can see birds were a very huge part of the culture in the country years ago. Now a day you rarely see a bird being that important to a country culturally besides France. In the US the chicken today is viewed as a bigger part of production and market. When we think of entertainment we think of actors on the television or games on the internet. Some chicken breeders use chickens as a form of entertainment. How is this so? A chicken being kept as a pet can be very amusing to the human eye. As you care for the chicken you can see their actions towards one another. Chickens are very high temperamental birds, but you also have the occasional docile bird. You can have kids play with the chickens. For example, in a free ranged area, children can go around and gather the eggs of the hens.

Calle 4 The Leghorn is a type of hen that is used in chicken production to lay eggs. The Leghorn comes from Italy. The first birds imported to North America in 1853. White Leghorns are the most popular layer chickens worldwide. Leghorns are great layers of white eggs, laying around 280 per year. Leghorns are used only for egg laying. They are typically nervous and flighty. Not many people know a lot about chickens. Some might think that chickens are only used for meat and egg production. In reality chickens are very versatile animals used for their meat, eggs, for entertainment, and for exhibition. Although these birds have many purposes and there are many different breeds, there are specific birds that are set to do specific things.

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Works Cited Akers, Doug, Pete Akers, and Dr. Mickey A. Latour. "Choosing a Chicken Breed: Eggs, Meat, or Exhibition." Animal Sciences Poultry. Perdue University. Web. 02 Dec. 2011. <>.

Green-Armytage, Stephen. Extraordinary Chickens. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2000. Print.

"Henderson's Chicken Breed Chart." Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY. Web. 03 Dec. 2011. <>.

"History of Breeds - Incubation and Embryology - University of Illinois Extension." University of Illinois Extension-Urban Programs Resource Network - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Web. 03 Dec. 2011. <>.

Percy, Pam. The Field Guide to Chickens. St. Paul, MN: Voyageur, 2006. Print.

Poultry, Poultry Health, Welfare, Diseases, Poultry News, Articles, Photos of Chickens, Poultry Photo. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <>.

Calle 6 "Breeds Search Screen - Back Yard Chickens." Raising BackYard Chickens, Build a Chicken Coop, Pictures of Breeds. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <>.