Friday, March 6, 2015

Fun Friday Facts THE HUNDRETH: Funny Breeds of Chickens

This is my ONE HUNDRETH Fun Friday Facts post, and I’ve been stressing out about that because I didn’t know what to write about, so I typed “funny breeds of” into Google and it helpfully supplied me with these chickens. I’m sure I remember that some of you keep chickens, so that’s a bonus. Also, this might be an appropriate time to warn you that there are nude animal photos up ahead.

The Onagadori chicken appears to be an honest to goodness, real live thing, despite my appalled insistence that no chicken could possibly grow tail feathers that are 12 to 27 feet long. Even as I write this, I’m still a little skeptical, because although there are some images on the Internet of these alleged chickens sporting these alleged 30-foot tail feathers, you can’t believe everything you read online, and I should know. The Wikipedia page for this breed shows a chicken with tail feathers that are admittedly rather long, but not abnormally so. 

Image by Tsunade13 from Wikipedia.

This chicken grows such long feathers because it takes them at least three years to molt. 
They inherit this trait from the Green Junglefowl, a paternal ancestor.

A great uncle or something.
Image by Stavenn from Wikipedia.

Like it’s fellow French breed, La Fleche, the Crevecoeur has weird little red horns.

Look at it, it's chicken Satan.
Image by Blaise.desaintjouin from Wikipedia.

This chicken is one of the oldest types bred in France, and it may be an ancestor of La Fleche. It comes from the town of Crevecoeur in Normandy, to the surprise of absolutely no one. They are mostly bred for show, though it was originally developed for its plump, juicy flesh. Its name means “broken heart.”

The Naked Neck is also know as the Turken because it looks like a cross between a chicken and a turkey. In fact, it is a cross between oh god and why.

Image by Demontux from Wikipedia.

The breed originates in Transylvania, so it’s also known as the Transylvania Naked Neck, a name that is not improved by the dubious addition of the word “Transylvania.” Nothing good for necks has ever come out of Transylvania. Wikipedia notes that the naked neck gene is dominant and “fairlyeasy to introduce into other breeds.” Maybe they should cross it with the long-tail one. That would be fun.

Now for a prettier one to cleanse your eyes. The Sultan chicken is a Turkish breed that knows it looks fabulous:

Image by Eunice from Wikipedia.

These birds were, again to the surprise of absolutely no one, once bred for the gardens of the sultanate. They have, as you can see, “a great deal of decorative plumage.” The male weighs just six pounds (2.7 kilos), while the female weighs about four pounds (2 kilos). The bantam version weighs an adorable 22 ounces (625 g).

The Araucana chicken comes from Chile, lays blue eggs, and won the 1987 World Beard and Mustache Championships:

The blue eggs have caused some to speculate that the bird was developed from pre-Columbian breeds. These breeds would have come from Polynesia, and would establish proof of contact between pre-Columbian South Americans and seafaring Polynesians. Research into the matter has been inconclusive. The Araucana chicken has passed its blue egg-laying abilities on to other breeds, including the Ameraucana (ha ha, it’s the American version) and the Cream Legbar. A mongrel chicken that lays blue eggs is known as an Easter Egger, and gets its blue-egg-laying abilities from the Araucana too.

The eggs aren't really that blue though.