we used to farm broiler chickens, until a typhoon flattened the Chicken houses and we decided the profit we made wasn't enough to rebuild (our local chicken prices were low thanks to imports from Viet Nam... globalization anyone?)
Well, anyway, the story of how chickens took over the world as a cheap protein source is fascinating:
So where did the chicken originate? From the forest chicken of South East Asia. or maybe China or maybe India. aka the red junglefowl.
And the original chickens might have been caught to use for cockfighting: something I sort of believe, because cockfighting is a big sport here in the Philippines, where you frequently see fighting cocks outside under a small shelter in people's back yards.
However, along the way, the species was bred to become nicer (although they are still aggressive: You ever heard the Phrase "Pecking order"?) Chickens killing other chickens in a herd is alas a problem, which is why more sophisticated henhouses put hens inside a box to lay eggs and the broiler chickens bred for meat production tend to be a white chicken bred for fast growth and lack of aggression.
Heh. Wikipedia even has an article on the white broiler chicken.
blame Col Sanders and his clones.
The fighting rooster is revered as a symbol of courage, and watchfulnees/ protection here in Asia. Remember how the critics laughed at the "Trump Chicken" meme? Well, it had the opposite connotation here in Asia, especially since the meme was not a Chicken but a fire rooster of the Chinese zodiac.
A charismatic man has a stunning energy, is always in the spotlight. Leader, unquestioned authority, charming handsome - all this Fire Rooster.
There are a lot of species of chickens out there but as I noted, most of the cheaper farmed chickens are of one species.
One worry about the chicken is that this monoculture could lead to it's demise from disease: so scientists are doing lots of DNA studies to identify the chicken origin and maybe to steal some of their genes to improve disease resistance.
The problem? Chickens cross breed, so in many areas, thanks to free range chickens in villages, there are few pure bred red junglefowl out there.
which brings me to the Chicken trivia of the day.
From Nature org blog:
Curiously, one of the few remaining populations of pure red junglefowl, as reported in Audubon, is found in Georgia. About 900 junglefowl roam the streets of the town of Fitzgerald....In the 1960s, wildlife managers released the junglefowl as part of an effort to establish populations of non-native gamebirds for hunting purposes.The junglefowl never established in wild habitats, but they did colonize the Fitzgerald’s parks and backyards, where many local residents consider them a nuisance.
in a somewhat related item:
Before there was Green acres, there was the Egg and I: about a city gal whose husband fell in love with country living.