You’d think from my response that I’d never seen a chicken before, though I’ll admit that I’d calmed somewhat once we’d returned home. In fact I’d almost forgotten about it until later that evening when I was sitting with my feet up and attempting to reverse stretch marks by sheer willpower alone.
The question occurred though, “Are there a lot of chickens just free-roaming the pavements of The Netherlands?” ‘cos Hubby didn’t seem to find it in the least bit unusual. I could have been bouncing up and down screeching “Gravel !! It’s Gravel !!!” for all the interest he’d shown. Mind you, if I’d pointed at the chickens and screamed “Gravel!!” I doubt very much I’d have made it any further than the Psychiatric Department. Unlike the chickens.
Google failed me with wildly differing quotes on local chicken populations ( Oh Google, how could you? After all we’ve been through together… )so I broadened my search and skipped straight to enquiring how many chickens there are in the world.
Go on, have a guess.
Amazingly nobody has actually counted them ( how very inconsiderate ) but the closest I could get was 24 billion in 2003, courtesy of Wikipedia.
The article also went on to say that their natural roost of choice would be trees. 23 billion chickens. In trees. Can you imagine it?
Admittedly, a huge amount of those birds are going to be stuffed in crates, knee deep in their own crap, just so we can get half priced “value” chicken breasts in a plastic foam tray. But still, the mind boggles. Or my mind did, but then I’d be the first to admit it probably came pre-scrambled anyway.
I can easily come to terms with billions & billions of ants on the planet. In fact, you expect there to be purely because of the fact they’re so tiny ( Unless they live near a nuclear testing site, if the movies are anything to go by. On a side note, Hubby once told me when we first met “Did you know that when ants die they always fall on their left side?” which as pick-up lines go lacks a little…erm… everything really. It apparently worked though as we have 2 children together, so I’m either over-impressed by implausible and possibly totally fabricated “facts” or I’m just easy. )
Chickens, however, aren’t tiny. Surely with all of that poultry in the world I should have seen ONE hen clucking broodily from the boughs of the local elm trees, but no. It suddenly seemed strange to have NOT seen more of the chubby fowl out and about for a bit of fresh air.
Next time I was at the hospital I took my camera. Lo and behold, there they were again, pecking away at random gravel ( Gravel !! ) and polite enough to pose for me. I took 15 photos. Can I find a single one? *sigh* so it’s not much of a thrilling end to Chapter 2 of the Chicken Saga. I don’t know about you but personally I’m hoping that at the very least one of the birds turns out to be either a zombie or a vampire.
Hmmm. Vampire Chicken. I should *totally* write that story.