Sunday, April 30, 2017

Delmarva raising chickens bigger than ostriches

For my readers who may not be familiar with Delmarva, we're farm and fishing country.  Chicken farming is big business with Delmarva playing host to four major companies: Allen Family Foods, Mountaire, Perdue and Townsends.  Seventeen hundred family farms supply the processors with the chickens and when you add everything up (feed mills, hatcheries, and processing plants), the chicken industry on Delmarva employs about 14,000 people and growing.

Can you imagine the size of the
chicken attached to that neck?
Now I don't know which of the seventeen hundred families raising chickens for the four big companies did it, but it appears a farm around Pocomoke City, MD in Worcester County raises record breaking chickens.  This sign outside of the SYSCO food distributor plant advertises they have 40 pound chicken necks in stock.

Believe it or not, I found a question Google couldn't answer.  I wanted to know how big a chicken would be if it had a 40 pound neck.  I tried wording the question many different ways and couldn't get an answer.  The only relevant answer I could get was an average chicken neck weighs around two ounces.

Then I found a second question Google couldn't answer.  I figured an ostrich, the world's largest bird, looked like a giant chicken so I wanted to know how much an ostrich neck weighed.  I learned a lot of neat facts about an ostrich, but not one of those facts led me to an answer of how much an ostrich's neck weighs.

Determined to find an answer, I put my math skills to work.  Since Google knew how much an average male ostrich weighs (350 lbs) and the weight of an average broiler chicken (7 lbs), that means an ostrich is about 50 times larger than a chicken.  That means a chicken the size of an ostrich would have a neck weighing six and a quarter pounds.  Of course an ostrich has a much longer neck than a chicken, so there's a margin of error in my calculations, but I'll fudge the math like Congress does the budget and conclude that a chicken with a forty pound neck would be six times the size of an ostrich.

The elephant bird is huge, but that little chicken
would still be 2 to 3 times larger if it had a 40 lb neck!
How big is six times the size of an ostrich?  The extinct elephant bird was the largest living bird until four hundred years ago.  A chicken six times the size of an ostrich would still be bigger than the elephant bird.

Let's suffice it to say that if you came across this chicken with a forty pound neck wandering around Pocomoke City, MD, you'll want to get out of its way.  It might mistake you for a tasty caterpillar.

Now you might be wondering why I shared this story.  When I rode past this sign, Ray Steven's Teenage Mutant Kung Fu Chickens popped in my head, a song I hadn't heard for years.  So I thought I'd share the sign with you so that silly song would pop in your head.  In case it doesn't pop in your head, plug your headphones in and enjoy the cartoon.

Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks

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