Posts Tagged ‘Chickens’

Sex-swap hen stuns owner by turning into a cockerel

June 16, 2008

A chicken called Honor stunned its owner when it turned from a hen into a cockerel.

The unusual ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos show how the Black Rock chicken has swapped genders over the past 12 months.

Owner Gill Whiteley originally thought the crowing she heard was from a nearby farm as she only kept hens. But when the neighbours insisted there was a cockerel crowing in her orchard, where she keeps the chickens, she decided to check.

The 53-year-old teacher Gill who lives in the village of Treales, near Preston said: ‘I had just bought some new hens and originally thought the poultry breeder had accidentally sold me a cockerel.  I take photos of all my chickens and get to know all their character traits and couldn’t see that any of the new batch were cockerels. Eventually, I found that it was a Black Rock chicken called Honor I had bought the year before who was crowing.

Click here for the full article.

Genome Of 150 Different Avian Influenza Viruses Released

June 11, 2008

The complete genetic coding sequences of 150 different avian influenza viruses were recently released by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists and government, industry and university collaborators. The information improves scientific understanding of avian influenza, a virus that mainly infects birds but that can also infect humans.

“This is a major milestone in avian influenza research,” said David Suarez, research leader of the Exotic and Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research Unit at the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory (SEPRL) operated at Athens, Ga., by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of USDA. Suarez oversees the ARS avian influenza virus repository at SEPRL.

“This sequence information, deciphered by our large team, will help researchers better understand virus biology and improve diagnostic tests for avian influenza viruses,” Suarez added.

Click here for the full article.

Japan Detects First Case of Bird Flu in a Year, Kyodo Reports

April 30, 2008

Japan detected the bird flu virus in three dead swans, the nation’s first case of the disease in more than a year, Kyodo News Agency reported, citing a National Institute of Animal Health study.

The swans, which tested positive for the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, were found in Japan’s northern prefecture of Akita on April 21, Kyodo said.

Akita’s local government will carry out inspections at 15 farms within a 30 kilometer radius of where the infected swans were found, Kyodo reported. Inspectors will examine about 42,000 birds, the news agency said.

The government will ask local farmers to take additional precautions to prevent wild birds entering their properties and to detect any chickens showing signs of illness, Kyodo said.

Click here for the full article.

Measure would give food animals space, but farmers say room to roam may not be best

April 29, 2008

Tender veal cutlets. Sizzling pork chops. Savory omelets.

For a growing number of Californians, these meals are sparking a moral conundrum: Should they worry about how animals lived before their products hit the plate?

California voters will answer that question in November with a new animal welfare ballot initiative. If passed, the measure would require farmers to provide enough space for breeding sows, veal calves and laying hens to turn around and stretch their limbs.

Click here for the full article.

You really should read this whole article.  Towards the end you will find the farmers’ perspectives, and they raise some very good points about sustainability and repercussions of requiring that laying hens have more room to move around.  This issue is more complicated than it might seem, and there are lots of factors to consider, like how to decide what is ultimately most humane for the animals, and how to address the rising costs of food, and what will be most beneficial for the environment.

-Kitty Mowmow

6 Formerly Kick-A** Creatures Ruined by Evolution

April 11, 2008

Evolution isn’t perfect. Just as the Kennedy family can produce a Ted, some noble species go down the wrong genetic path and what used to be the Tyrannosaurus Rex can wind up as a modern chicken.

Here are six kicka**creatures that evolution apparently decided were just too awesome to exist and then, to add insult to injury, evolved them into the crappiest replacements possible.

Click here for the full article.

Anti-cruelty farm animals bill qualifies for state ballot

April 11, 2008

A measure that proponents say would provide basic protection for 20 million farm animals in California has qualified for the November ballot.

California Secretary of state Debra Bowen certified the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act for the Nov. 4 general election.

The measure would mandate that farm animals including cattle, pigs and chickens would be given enough room to turn around and extend their limbs in the crates and cages in which they are confined by food producers.

If approved, the law would not take effect until 2015, allowing seven years for compliance.

Click here for the full article.

The look that says ‘I’ve just eaten all your chickens’

April 3, 2008

Opening her chicken coop one morning, Terri Strick hoped to find some fresh eggs from her hens.

Instead all she found was one – very full – fox, as well as an assortment of blood-stained feathers.

The creature, which she has nicknamed Basil, had already killed six of her chickens the week before. He returned two weeks ago to finish off the feast, but found that his eyes were bigger than his belly.

The extra portion of poultry was clearly too much for him, and he brazenly decided to stay in the warm, if slightly gory, hen house to sleep off the effects of his over-indulgence.

Mrs Strick, of St Levan in west Cornwall, said that she had been hoping to collect some eggs for her breakfast when she opened the coop. “All that was there was a lot of feathers and a very contented fox,” she said.

Click here for the full article.

Microchips Could Speed Up Detection Of Livestock Viruses

March 31, 2008

Some of the worst threats to farm workers and farm animals such as bird flu, foot-and-mouth disease and other emerging viruses could soon be quickly identified by using a simple screening chip developed by scientists from the Institute for Animal Health, scientists will hear March 31, 2008 at the Society for General Microbiology’s 162nd meeting.

“The last major SARS outbreak — severe acute respiratory syndrome — which started on the border of China and Hong Kong was identified using a microarray chip. Fortunately, because of the rapid identification of the virus it was brought under control, and in spite of its seriousness caused relatively few deaths,” says Dr Paul Britton of the Institute for Animal Health in Compton, near Newbury, Berkshire. “We need a similar way of quickly identifying viruses that attack chickens, cattle, pigs, sheep and other farm animals.”

The scientists have developed a microarray, called a chip, which contains specific small regions of virus genes that react with any viruses in the samples being tested, showing up as coloured spots on glass slides. The method can also be used to see if a sample contains two or more viruses.

“At the moment the common methods for detecting viruses rely on some previous knowledge, such as recognising the clinical signs of a disease,” says Dr Paul Britton. “A system that can be used by almost anyone, and that can quickly and accurately be used to identify the particular virus early on is vital to control these diseases before they spread, and will have much wider applications.”

Click here for the full article.

Spring keeps coming earlier for birds, bees, trees

March 19, 2008

Pollen is bursting. Critters are stirring. Buds are swelling. Biologists are worrying.

“The alarm clock that all the plants and animals are listening to is running too fast,” Stanford University biologist Terry Root said.

Blame global warming.

The fingerprints of man-made climate change are evident in seasonal timing changes for thousands of species on Earth, according to dozens of studies and last year’s authoritative report by the Nobel Prize-winning international climate scientists. More than 30 scientists told The Associated Press how global warming is affecting plants and animals at springtime across the country, in nearly every state.

Click here for the full article.

March 5, 2008

Check out this series of photographs from London-based design studio us. They are “a response to the similarities between many office working conditions and battery farmed hens.”

For more animal-esque music, news, and issues, tune in to Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo online at, Sunday nights 8-10 central.

‘Stop live animals exports for slaughter’

February 12, 2008

A worldwide campaign aimed at banning the long-distance transport of live animals for slaughter has been launched in London.Animal charity workers shot secret film footage during a two-year long investigation of the global trade in live animals which they say is cruel and unnecessary.

The Handle With Care coalition is using shock pictures of animals being shipped around the world in overcrowded and filthy conditions before they are finally slaughtered.

They hope consumers will be so horrified by the images of sheep, cattle, horses, pigs and chickens moved in horrendous conditions in journeys that can take weeks they will embarrass governments into finally banning the trade.

Click here for the full article.

Just passing along this newsletter from one of my favorite animal-esque labels, “Asthmatic Kitty”

January 16, 2008


1- Rafter and his Sex Death Cassette
2- Twilight & Ghost Stories: A Rare Treat
3- Castanets Tour and release 7″
4- Open Call!! Film and Art – Microcinema and 930 Art Center
5- Coming Soon (DVD and Cryptacize CD/LP/MEGATOUR)
6- Adios MySpace
7- Tour Dates
Thank you so much for subscribing to our electronic mailing newsletter. We know that your time is precious, so we want to respect that in 2008 by making this newsletter something of value to you, something for more than just news.
That’s why, starting with this very issue, we will do our best to give you a special discount or mp3 or _something_ that is exclusive to this mailing list.
This month, it’s a very special Rafter bundle. See below for details, and please keep reading this newsletter each month for more exclusive stuff. Your friends can sign up here:

Rafter’s newest album is now available for preorder for $10 (+S&H). But for $5 more, you can get Rafter’s two previous albums, 10 Songs and Music for Total Chickens, along with Sex Death Cassette! This is exclusive to this email list, and available only for the next two weeks!
Inspired by influences as diverse as Guided By Voices, R Stevie Moore, Fela Kuti, Lightning Bolt, Fushitsusha, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, and Cody Chestnutt, SEX DEATH CASSETTE is an album full of hope, determination and chaos. It’ll leave you with sweat dripping down your face onto your swelled lip; fresh, liquid salt, the quintessential flavor of late night post-disco parties and booty slinging good times. After dancing to this album, you’re heavy with it, like too much cough syrup on a stomach full of hi-quality sushi.
To preorder the $15 3-CD Rafter bundle, use the below link:
Also be sure to check out Rafter’s ongoing song-a-week project. You can see an overview of them all here:

2——TWILIGHT & GHOST STORIES: A RARE TREAT——————————————————————–
When we first decided to release Twilight & Ghost Stories we thought it was going to be one of those releases that spoke to a very particular and limited audience because of its nontraditional structure and composition. We were wrong! The response has been wonderful and expansive. This beautifully packaged release includes contributions by almost half of the Asthmatic Kitty roster, including Sufjan Stevens, Ray Raposa (Castanets), John Ringhofer (Half-handed Cloud), Liz Janes and Michael Kaufmann (Future Rapper).
And as a special treat we offer you an mp3 of a live performance of this piece from the Next To Last Festival in Athens, GA:
You can read more about the context of this recording here:

Castanets have released a brand new 7″ that includes a remix of “Strong Animal” from their recent In the Vines full-player, as well as “Golden”, an outtake from that same album. The remix was part of a series of remixes given out via the interweb to help promote In The Vines. This one was too deliciously geared for dance floors so we felt that not putting it to wax was a crime to the night. West Coaster and Hero to All, Rafter, manned boards and faders and clickers for it. Bass up, mids wherever. Artwork is by Castanets good friend Tara Jane ONeil. Here’s to big airplanes and weekend agoraphobics.
Castanets are also touring the west coat for the next few weeks. See below for tour dates.
Buy the 7″ here:

4——OPEN CALL FOR ART, VIDEO————————————————————-
We get a lot of emails from talented people offering their services as artists or video directors. Unfortunately there’s just not enough Asthmatic Kitty music to go around, but we do have two excellent opportunities to get noticed.
We’re working with Microcinema to curate a traveling film festival. Winning filmmakers will receive everything from a Panasonic AG-HSC1U 1/4″ 3-CCD High Definition Video Camera (if you know what that means, you know how awesome it is), to a specially selected Asthmatic Kitty discography. Microcinema is a great way to show off because they are taking these films into some very public and interesting places – like base camp at Mt. Everest. See below for submission details.
And for the more illustrative, we are hosting our next Unusual Animals party at The 930 Art Center in Louisville, Kentucky. They too are looking for submissions, specifically representations of unusual animals found in nature or imagination. These are due by March 15, so please: get to it!
Microcinema call for submissions:
930 Art Center call for submissions:

5——COMING SOON—————————————————————————
This is going to be quite a year for Asthmatic Kitty so we hope you stick along for the ride. Showing up first on the radar is Cryptacize’s new CD/LP and tour (see below for some dates).
Also, you may have heard about our DVD, the Encyclopedia Asthmatica Volume 1. We are extremely proud of this collection and have been working hard over the last year to pull it all together. We will be sending you an email as soon as the DVD is available for preorder in February.
And stay tuned to this space for more info to come over the year!

6——GOOD RIDDANCE MYSPACE—————————————————————-
A brief eulogy…okay, that was enough. We tried, we really tried. But the constant bombardment of spam spam spam, and the difficulty to manage the profile and communicate to you, our friends and fans, has lead us to move our social networking presence to Last.FM and Virb. Also, you can interact with us via Flickr and YouTube.

7——TOUR DATES——————————————————————————-
2008-01-16 Wednesday: Portland, OR – Someday Lounge (w/ Nudity)
2008-01-18 Friday: Eugene, OR – Sam Bond’s Garage
2008-01-21 Monday: San Francisco, CA – Cafe Du Nord (w/ Sholi, El Olio Wolof)
2008-01-22 Tuesday: Davis, CA – Fort Douglass
2008-01-23 Wednesday: Sacramento, CA – The N Street House
2008-01-24 Thursday: Fresno, CA – Club Fred (w/ Sholi, El Olio Wolof)
2008-01-25 Friday: San Luis Obispo, CA – Steynberg Gallery
2008-01-28 Monday: Phoenix, AZ – The Trunk Space
2008-01-30 Wednesday: San Diego, CA – The Casbah
2008-01-31 Thursday: Long Beach, CA – Koo’s Art Center
2008-02-01 Friday: Los Angeles, CA – The Echo (w/ Bodies of Water)
2008-01-15 Tuesday: Los Angeles, CA – Tangier (w/ Why?)
2008-01-23 Wednesday: San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall (w/ The Blow and Mirah)
Half-handed Cloud
2008-01-17 Thursday: Oakland, CA – Mama Buzz Cafe w/Christy, Aaron Roche
2008-01-25 Friday: Hamilton – New Zealand – Parachute Festival (
2008-01-26 Saturday: Hamilton – New Zealand – Parachute Festival (
2008-01-27 Sunday: Hamilton – New Zealand – Parachute Festival (
My Brightest Diamond
2008-01-21 Monday: Osaka – Japan – CLUB QUATTRO (w/Sufjan Stevens)
2008-01-22 Tuesday: Tokyo – Japan – CLUB QUATTRO (w/Sufjan Stevens)
Sufjan Stevens
2008-01-16 Wednesday: Melbourne – Australia – Forum Theater ((Tickets go on sale through Ticketek, 132849, on Nov 16th))
2008-01-17 Thursday: Melbourne – Australia – Forum Theater
2008-01-21 Monday: Osaka – Japan – Club Quattro (w/My Brightest Diamond)
2008-01-22 Tuesday: Tokyo – Japan – CLUB QUATTRO (w/My Brightest Diamond)
Be seeing you!

Animal waste: Future energy, or just hot air?

January 7, 2008


Manure, when properly processed, can provide a reliable and clean source of electrical and heat energy. And as there is so much of it, many are pinning their hopes on it as the latest new renewable energy source, leading the New York Times to recently suggest it could be “the ultimate renewable source of fuel.”

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), there are about 1.3 billion cattle worldwide (one for every five people), slightly more than 1 billion sheep, around 1 billion pigs, 800 million goats and 17 billion chickens.

Between them, they produce a lot of fecal matter — around 13 billion tons of it a year, according to various estimates.

Within that matter is 55 percent to 65 percent methane, which when released into the atmosphere is bad news for us (it traps heat at 23 times the rate that carbon dioxide does) — but when burned is another matter entirely. It gives us energy.

Click here to read the full article.

The Vancouver Humane Society has issued its recommended top 10 New Year’s resolutions to make life better for animals

December 26, 2007


Here are the society’s 10 suggestions:

– Don’t buy eggs from caged hens. If you choose to buy eggs, buy certified organic eggs instead. They’re guaranteed to be free-range and have the highest welfare standards (

– If you’re looking for a companion animal, adopt a homeless animal from a local shelter. Don’t buy exotic pets or animals sold in pet stores or by breeders.

– Eat less meat, starting with one meat-free dinner a week – or, better yet, go vegetarian!

– Get your dog/cat spayed or neutered and tell everyone who has a pet to do the same.

– Don’t patronize zoos, animal circuses, rodeos or any other event exploiting animals.

– Don’t buy fur – not even fur trim.

– Switch to cruelty-free and non-animal-tested products.

– Become a supporter of an animal charity.

– Report animal cruelty to the ASPCA.

– Do something kind for animals every day – take your neighbour’s dog for walk, write a letter to the editor supporting animals, hug your cat.

Click here to read the full article.

This is another one of those posts that I may or may not personally agree with, but feel that the information should be available for discourse. For example, I don’t believe that zoos and rodeos inherently exploit animals, and I myself do not choose to be a vegetarian. But like I’ve said before, one of the major goals of Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo is to provide a starting-point for discussing animal-related issues.