Besides serving as the subject of the ever-popular, yet increasingly cliche joke, chickens also populate countless farms across the globe as one of the most widely domesticated animals on Earth. Although the word “chicken” has become synonymous with cowardice and dimwittedness, these festively feathered fowls prove entertaining pets as well as an immersive subject of study. In this edition of The StickerTalk we invite you to explore the arcane and obscure nature of the chicken’s history and its everyday antics (although we could not scrounge up a better explanation as to why the chicken crossed the road).
- There’s a Name for That? – The dangling red flap of skin under a rooster’s beak is called a wattle. Scientists tend to believe that the wattle helps roosters attract hens when performing a courtship dance known as tidbitting.
- Maternal Instincts – The hen’s intense attention to her offspring has earned her the accolades of even ancient observers. In Ancient Rome, when someone wished to compliment another person’s upbringing, they would exclaim, “You were raised by a hen!” A tradition that continues today, the phrase “mother hen” describes a lady who takes an especially keen interest in the wellbeing of her children.
- Religious Roosters – Roosters have often found themselves immortalized in religious texts and traditions. For example, in the New Testament a rooster plays a key role in Peter’s denial of Jesus. In Islamic culture, believers are taught that a rooster crows because he has seen an angel. According to some European folk stories, the devil is driven away by the a rooster’s crowing.