Category:
Farming

Weirdo the Cat-Killing Superchicken

Weirdo was a giant among chickens. He weighed a colossal twenty-three pounds — about four times the size of an average rooster. Throughout much of the 1970s and 80s, he was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the heaviest chicken in the world. He was said to have the strength and stamina of an ostrich.

"Grant Sullens holds his prize 23-lb. White Sully rooster. Note the gloves he is wearing for protection. Note also that the photographer stayed on the safe side of the fence." Source: Farm Journal - Nov 1971.

However, Weirdo had a temper and ferocity that matched his size. His violent exploits were legendary. He killed two cats and pecked out the eye of a dog. He routinely tore bits of metal off his feed bucket, demolishing feeders at a rate of one per month. When an ungloved visitor made the mistake of trying to touch him, he removed their fingertip. He shattered the lens of a camera. And, in his crowning achievement, he managed to rip through a wire fence and attacked and killed one of his own sons, an eighteen-pound rooster.

Just as unusual as Weirdo himself was the story of how he came to exist. He was the result of a seven-year chicken-breeding program conducted by a teenage boy, Grant Sullens, of West Point, California. Sullens had decided that he wanted to create a breed of "superchickens," and he actually achieved his goal, succeeding where highly paid poultry researchers had failed.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 18, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Farming, 1970s

Bossy the Electrified Cow

In the future, when robot cows rule the world, they'll look back on Bossy as one of the first of their kind.

Sumter County Journal - Apr 17, 1941

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 29, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Robots, Technology, AI, Robots and Other Automatons, Farming, Cows, 1940s

Champion Chicken Picker Ernest Hausen

Ernie Hausen, of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, had one great talent. He could pick the feathers off of chickens really, really fast.

When he started picking chickens, in 1904, it took him a full half hour to defeather one. Since he was paid 5 cents per chicken, he wasn't making much money. Over the years he sped up. By 1922, he won a Chicken Picking Championship by picking his chicken clean in 6 seconds. He topped this in 1939, upping his time to 3.5 seconds. As far as I know, that record stands to this day.

His technique:

Hausen dips the chickens in 164-degree water, quickly runs his large, powerful fingers across the wings, from the tips inward; does the same with the legs, finally peels the feathers from the back and breast. Suddenly the bird is as bare as a billiard ball.... He tells of picking 1,472 birds in 7 hours and 45 minutes in a contest.
-Ithaca Journal - Feb 7, 1946

More info: Hoard Museum

Wisconsin State Journal - Jan 2, 1946



Appleton Post-Crescent - Jul 28, 1936



McAllen Monitor - Oct 28, 1946



Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 27, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Farming, Human Marvels, World Records

Knickers the Giant Cow

That's one big cow!

Though, technically, he's a steer, not a cow. And yeah, he looks bigger when seen alongside cattle who are relatively small.

More details.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Apr 05, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Farming, Cows

Chicken Diapers

Julie Baker, owner of Pampered Poultry, is cashing in on the recent fad for keeping chickens as pets. She's selling 500 to 1000 "chicken diapers" every month, for $18 a piece. More info at The Outline:

In wealthy cities like San Francisco, chickens have even become an unlikely status symbol, with poultry owners going to unimaginable lengths to care for their pets. As The Washington Post reported in March, certain chicken owners have hired “chicken whisperers” to consult on their pets’ comfort (to the tune of $225 per hour).



(Thanks to Gerald Sacks for the link!)

Posted By: Alex - Fri Aug 10, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Farming, Fashion, Excrement

Cowvertising

$500 a year to put your ad on the side of a cow.

Twin Falls Times-News - Apr 8, 1984



Detroit Free Press - Apr 13, 1984

Posted By: Alex - Fri Apr 20, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Advertising, Farming, Cows, 1980s

Munch Meter

An invention that measures how much a cow has eaten by recording the motion of its head while it eats.

Hartford Courant - Sep 14, 1972



New Scientist - July 26, 1973

Posted By: Alex - Wed Apr 18, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Farming, Inventions, 1970s

Soil My Undies Challenge

The California Farmers Guild is challenging farmers to soil their undies. More info: farmersguild.org

And Scottish farmers are also taking up the challenge. (telegraph.co.uk)

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 05, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Farming, Underwear

Artist Lays Egg

Poincheval hatching eggs



Chuck mentioned a few weeks ago that French performance artist Abraham Poincheval would soon be sitting on a dozen eggs until they hatch. He's now well into the process of doing that and has hatched nine eggs already.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 22, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Publicity Stunts, Performance Art, Farming

Chicken Shaming

I hadn't realized that chickens were capable of deviant behavior of this kind. I mean, an entire mouse? Chickens eat mice?

More at Chicken Hugs.





Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 01, 2017 - Comments (7)
Category: Animals, Farming

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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