The iMac of chicken coops

Continuing in my recent blogging about chicken technology, I’ve just found out about the Eglu — a personal chicken coop that looks eerily like a hollowed-out iMac. A creation of the British company Omlet, the Eglu is aimed a citydwellers who want to raise a couple of chickens in the backyard; as the site notes, “we wanted it to be as easy as looking after a goldfish but more rewarding than owning a dog”, an emotional algorithm of sufficient precision that I couldn’t stop laughing for about five minutes.

Given that my last chicken entry was about the creeptacular E-Z Catch Chicken Harvester, I was charmed to discover that Omlet offers comprehensive instructions on how to pick up your chickens:

As a rule the best way is to quickly grab their feet from under them. Do NOT chase your chickens around grabbing at their tails or wings. This will only cause them panic which could be bad for their health or at the very least, affect egg production.

Sometimes your chicken may think that you are a cockerel and flatten themselves to the ground in anticipation of mating. This will actually make them easier to pick up!

Once you have your chicken by the legs try to get it into a position in which you can carry it whilst supporting its body. Use one hand to support it from underneath by putting your index finger between its legs and securing the legs with your thumb and forefinger.

My mother grew up on a farm in Winnipeg, and I recall her once describing the sight of one my Ukranian great-grandmothers — who was about five feet tall and maybe 98 pounds — expertly grabbing a chicken and using a hatchet to hack off its head in one lethal chop. Now there’s a skill you don’t often need on the streets of Manhattan.

(Thanks to Emily Gordon for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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