A chicken in every post
June 22, 2009 6:32 PM   Subscribe

The Natural History of the Chicken which recently aired on PBS is now available in 6 parts on youtube.. 1/6

This 2001 documentary by Mark Lewis tells a story of several unique chickens, including Mike the Headless Chicken [previously], Liza the pampered domestic chicken, a chicken who is frozen solid and lives, and a suburban farm that raises fighting cocks and the irate neighbors who crack under the constant crowing. 2 3 4 5 6

Other Documentaries by Mark Lewis include Cane Toads: An Unnatural History 1 2 3 4 5 Also: Ferrets: The Pursuit of Excellence (sorry the whole thing isn't on youtube that I can see.. but there is a video of people watching Ferrets: The Pursuit of Excellence).
posted by acro (18 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
The Natural History of the Chicken which recently aired on PBS is now available in 6 parts...

posted by iamkimiam at 6:44 PM on June 22, 2009 [7 favorites]

thank god for the internet..
posted by HuronBob at 6:47 PM on June 22, 2009

Luckily I watched the history of the egg last week... or is that on next week?
posted by Midnight Rambler at 7:05 PM on June 22, 2009 [4 favorites]

It was 6 days ago.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:09 PM on June 22, 2009

Because of an FPP from two hours earlier, I found myself strongly hoping it was the Look Around You History of the Chicken.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:13 PM on June 22, 2009

I watched this last week it was awesome. I loved the story "Call Me Chicken" by L. Joseph Tauer (starts at 3:50 in part 5 and continues into part 6). There's a PDF of the text here: Call Me Chicken.
posted by wobh at 7:18 PM on June 22, 2009

...Chicken is one of my favorite movies/documentaries ever. Cane Toads is a classic as well.
posted by unmake at 7:20 PM on June 22, 2009

Ha! I just recorded this last week and burned it to DVD today for watching soon. My S.O. will love it.

I saw that Cane Toads documentary at a local film festival when it came out in 1988. There's a scene with a long shot of little VW minibus barreling down a road in the outback, carreening left and right trying to hit the cane toads because they've overrun the place. 21 years later, that is still the loudest I've ever laughed in a movie theater.
posted by intermod at 7:25 PM on June 22, 2009

SPOILER: It came first.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:41 PM on June 22, 2009

Actually, it was the Askme that came first ...
posted by lester at 7:43 PM on June 22, 2009

I have it on good authority that the chicken came first, rolled over and smoked a cigarette, and then never called again.
posted by hypersloth at 7:48 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think I've probably said this before, but remember that old riddle? The one about the chicken or the egg? I finally figured out which came first.

It was the egg, laid by something that wasn't quite a chicken.
posted by Malor at 7:56 PM on June 22, 2009

posted by liza at 8:08 PM on June 22, 2009

red jungle fowl, right? SE asia, lil' velociraptors?
posted by MNDZ at 10:25 PM on June 22, 2009

Back in the late 80s, when I lived in Albania, I used to spend a good chunk of my summer vacation at my grandparents' home in the countryside. Their house was adjacent to my great-uncle's, but otherwise dwellings were generously apart from each other.

Early each morning, my grandmother (now passed) would let out the thirty or so chickens to feed them. After that, the chickens spent the rest of the day away from the house presumably wandering around. Occasionally we would see one or two in the yard, but the majority would simply be gone for most of the day.

An hour or so before sunset, grandma would call them in with what sounded like "krrrrrrrr, krrrrrr". She obviously had no idea where they were, but they could hear her. This was my favorite part. It would be very quiet for about twenty seconds and suddenly there would be chickens flying down from rooftops, over fences, through rose bushes and into the yard. This amazed me for several reasons: within a minute or two all chickens were there, and if not grandma knew exactly which one was missing; it sometimes happened that our neighbow would call her chickens at the same time and some would run across our yard, but only to jump the fence into their own.
posted by preparat at 6:19 AM on June 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

Well, the egg came first, if we are simply defining "egg" as any kind of egg. Obviously there were eggs from other kinds of animals before there were chickens. If we are defining "egg" here as a "chicken egg" then we need to further specify: is a "chicken egg" an egg laid by a chicken, or is it an egg capable of hatching a chicken. In these cases which came first is decided by how we define "chicken egg". Of course, if a "chicken egg" must meet both criteria, that is, it must have been laid by a chicken and be capable of hatching a chicken, then the only correct answer is that the chicken came first.

Malor's answer is correct if we are only defining the egg as being capable of hatching a chicken.
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:40 AM on June 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

It was the egg, laid by something that wasn't quite a chicken.

Yeah, it's always baffled me that any other viewpoint could even be considered. Also, consider that there were tons of other things around way before chickens, just squirting eggs out everywhere. Which means the question is really a semantic one - which came first... chicken, or chicken egg? And what makes a chicken egg - is it an egg containing a chicken, or an egg laid by a chicken? The ill definition of the terms is what leads to the confusion in this debate, just like all other debates.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:48 AM on June 23, 2009

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