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Ever Wondered About... Chicken?

Updated Wednesday, 27th April 2005

The fascinating world of chickens

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Roast chicken Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Production team

Next time you have roast chicken, look carefully at the colour of the meat. Which areas of the bird have white meat and which have red? The colour of the meat is determined by how active the muscles are when the bird is alive. Active muscles are darker in colour than muscles that are not used much. The colour is due to the presence of a red coloured pigment called myoglobin which is similar to haemoglobin that is present in blood. When flying, birds use muscles attached between their breastbone and their wings. How active was your chicken? Did it fly or walk very far? Where did you find the red meat and the white meat on the chicken?

Basting a chicken during cooking, cools its surface as the juices evaporate and also slows the transfer of heat into the meat.

In an hour, a chicken can travel a distance of about 9 miles. The longest distance flown by any chicken is 301.5 feet. And the longest recorded flight of a chicken is thirteen seconds.

China not only has the most people in the world, but also has the most Horses (10 million) and the most chickens (over 3 billion).

Queen Victoria was a passionate chicken breeder. The hen house built for her birds looked more like a palace!

The barbs on feathers behave like Velcro, holding the feather together. Try pulling a feather into sections and then see if you can get them to join back together again.

Florence hospitals spent a lot of money on chickens to feed their patients.

If a rooster is not present in a flock of hens, a hen will often take the role, stop laying, and begin to crow.

In a year, a chicken converts about eight times her body weight into eggs. An egg is about 3% of the hen’s weight and she will spend a quarter of her daily energy expenditure laying eggs.

The Victorians had a fad for breeding chickens, and most modern breeds originated from that time. Darwin used chickens as evidence of evolution.

In 1953, hurricane force winds destroyed egg production on Orkney as millions of chickens were blown into sea.

Alektorophobia is the fear of chickens.

The dish “Chicken Kiev” sounds as if it comes from Ukraine, but actually it was invented in France and named in New York.

It’s possible to put (cooking) oil on spent feathers to simulate birds caught in an oil spill at sea, in order to find the best way to clean off the oil. If feathers are successfully cleaned, they will still repel water and float. If not, water will be absorbed into them and the feather will sink. The bird would then die.

There are more chickens in the world than any other domesticated bird, and there is more than one chicken for every human on earth.

Chickens and turkeys are known to cross-breed, and the result is known as a Turkin.

The term 'chickenpox' didn't come from people believing that the infectious disease originated with chickens. It’s an old English term - 'gican pox' meaning the “itching pox“.

A rooster will attack anything (including humans) that he thinks will harm the hens. The spurs located at the back of their legs can cause a very painful puncture wound.

Chicken is one of the most popular meats in the world because it doesn’t have any religious taboos attached to it.

 

 

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