Natural History of the Chicken

july 9, 2001

When you bite into that juicy piece of KFC have you ever wondered about the animal you're eating? Here's an informative PBS special about the...err...chicken :) [url=http://www.pbs.org/whatson/press/jul01/chicken.html" target="new]PBS Description[/url]:

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE CHICKEN

Most people best know the chicken from their dinner plates - whether as thigh, wing or drumstick. Consumers barely pause a moment to consider the bird's many virtues. In THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE CHICKEN, airing on PBS Wednesday, July 11, 2001, 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings), filmmaker Mark Lewis (Cane Toads: An Unnatural History and Rat) expands the frontiers of popular awareness and delightfully reveals that this small, common and seemingly simple animal is as complex and grand as any of nature's creatures.

Received with critical acclaim at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, the film focuses on ordinary people telling stories about their extraordinary chickens - and some are truly the stuff of legend:

The film also provides some surprising facts about chickens: remarkably complex creatures, chickens possess many human qualities. Adult chickens are social animals and can recognize the crow of at least 30 other roosters. With their well-developed sense of hearing, they can also communicate over long distances. Chickens love to watch television and have vision similar to humans. They also seem to enjoy all forms of music, especially classical.

Unfortunately, the average chicken lives only seven weeks before being transported to a processing plant. More than eight billion chickens will be sacrificed this year for America's desire for cheap, versatile meals.

With its humorous and touching accounts, and enlightening facts, THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE CHICKEN invites viewers to rethink their relationship with a creature long taken for granted, while at the same time providing a lens by which viewers look at themselves. It is a "natural history" for an animal like no other.