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The Natural History of the Chicken

Director:
Mark Lewis
Release Date:
30 Mar 2001
Genre:
Documentary / Comedy
Country:
USA
Runtime:
60 min

Through interviews and reenactments, The Natural History of the Chicken investigates the role of the chicken in American life and tells several remarkable stories. A Maine farmer says she found a chicken frozen stiff, but was able to resuscitate it. Colorado natives tell a story of the chicken who lost its head-- and went on living. A Virginia farmer tells about (and demonstrates) the benefits of raising chickens for his own consumption. Perhaps most surprising is the case of the Florida woman: she bathes her pet bird, and takes it both swimming and shopping. Through these and other stories, this documentary illuminates the role that chickens play in (some of) our lives.

On the commercial aspects, Americans spend $40 billion annually on chicken products and eat 80 pounds annually per person. In raising chickens, it takes 21 days from egg laying to hatching. From there, the chickens go to a variety of uses. On the personal side, there are some who love and adore and some who detest chickens of those who have direct contact with the live animals. Some want to know from where there food is coming. Others just love love chickens for their natural personality traits as an animal. Some of these people relay personal stories of their encounters with their animal, three of these stories on the chicken's near death experience. One purports to be able to communicate with animals, chickens included. And yet others have more nefarious uses, such as raising fighting cocks. Of the detractors, the homeowners next to the farm where aggressive cocks are being raised cite noise pollution, one who compares it to the constant pain of Chinese water torture.
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