by Marilyn Davis

"A Chicken in Every Pot"


       This fall my Honey and I were driving through Kanarraville when we spotted a flock of Chickens working their way through a frost-bitten garden. Flocks of Chickens always bring a warm feeling to us, that everything is right in the world.

       It’s not which came first, the chicken or the egg question that’s important, but what’s happened since man first domesticated the Chicken. DNA evidence now points to Chickens being domesticated in China and in India 8,000 years ago. The original parent birds were the red jungle fowl of southeast Asia. This small, two-pound bird still roams wild in the habitats of the jungle. Chickens spread to Africa, Egypt, and then Europe. Recent archeological evidence shows that Chickens were in South America before Columbus discovered the new world and were brought to the coast of Chili by Polynesian explorers. Chickens have changed from a small bird in a hot jungle country, into larger birds that are tolerant of cold. Some Chickens have feathers that cover the legs and feet to keep them warm in colder climates.

       When the pyramids were being built, Chickens scratched the dirt at their base and fed the workers. Today man builds and maintains large structures to house these significant birds. Large commercial flocks of Chickens numbering in the thousands, are raised in huge warehouse
type buildings to supply eggs and meat. Our world is full of different sizes, shapes, and colors of Chickens, bred for climatic conditions and people’s needs. The small Bantam Chicken is a favorite pet for people. Because of this, there are more than sixty varieties of Bantam chickens.

       Chickens have always been the choice of food for the average person. During tough times the phrase “A chicken in every pot” meant that no one was going hungry and that things were looking up in the country. Nowadays our Chickens do not come from the back yard. They come from the backs of refrigerated semi-trucks delivered to our local stores after being driven hundreds of miles from large operations where they were raised. Chickens could be one of man’s most important domesticated animals.

       Keith Davis is the artist of the Chicken, painted with color pencils. Red Cliffs Audubon General Meetings are every second Wednesday of the month, and the following Saturday is always the Field Trip. The public is welcome. For more information about these activities, call 435 673-0996 or go to the Field Trip and Meeting section of our web site.

Red Cliffs Audubon