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    We can really talk 'hen to hen!'

  • #2

    We can really talk 'hen to hen!'


    • #3
      Explora, you have the dark version, the one that I found was bright, but I lost it, and couldn't find it again.

      Do you know that some of the "chicken talking" were actually "roosters" but could chicken-talk better as "hens?" Hik hik hik hik!


      • #4


        • #5
          Chicken Talk

          Friday, Jan. 24, 1964 Article

          Nationality seems to make no difference at all. "Ga-ga-GAAK, ga-ga-GAAK" means the same thing to a Russian Orloff rooster, an Italian Leghorn, a Cornish **** or a New Hampshire Red. At the sound of the excited cackling, prudent poultry the world over get the same message: "Watch out! Danger!"

          Dr. Erich Baeumer, the country physician from Wiedenau, Germany, who translated the warning into people talk, insists that all chickens speak an international language made up of 30 basic sentences. And as a fowl linguist, the portly G.P. speaks with considerable authority. He has been studying the birds for nearly 60 years.

          Young Erich was eight when his mother made him play in the chicken yard to keep him out of the road. "It was an intuitive understanding," he remembers with surprise. "I could actually tell what they were saying. I began to spend hours with them; they became brothers and sisters to me." He learned to imitate their sounds so well that he was accepted as a full-fledged member of the flock. Only when his voice changed did the chickens realize that he was not really one of them.

          My Son the Rooster. All through his student years, Baeumer kept chummy with chickens; when he started medical practice in rural Wiedenau, he turned his garden into a chicken yard. He spent all his spare moments there, communing with the inmates, observing their language and customs. Sometimes he incubated a clutch of eggs and kept the ****** isolated so that they accepted him as their mother and apparently thought other humans were just big chickens. He listened carefully while their baby peeps changed to adult chicken language, and found that it came from instinct and never varied appreciably. Roosters raised in isolation from other chickens always crow correctly without learning how; isolated hens make correct clucking noises as soon as they feel ready to brood.

          In 1954 the absorbing hobby became scientific research. The late Professor Erich von Hoist was experimenting with chickens at the Institute of Behavior Physiology near Munich, and he needed an associate who knew chickens intimately. Von Hoist was so impressed with the country doctor's chicken lore that he started him on an **** of photography and tape recording.

          After recording hours of chicken talk, Dr. Baeumer would play the tapes back, selecting examples of clear-cut chicken "sentences" that could be related to records or photographs of specific actions. Collecting prime examples of all the basic sentences took about four years. Best performers were breeds with strains of gamecock in them. "Chickens with fighting blood," says Dr. Baeumer, "are better because they have more temperament."

          Trills & Cackles. Dr. Baeumer's chick-talk tapes, which are considered classics in animal-behavior circles, have been played at universities in many countries and broadcast over BBC. The genial doctor himself has mastered nearly all the nuances of chicken language and can play a weighty role in any chicken society. He knows the loneliness cries of young ****** separated from their mother ("Pieep-pieep-pieep") and their terror trills"”a high-pitched "Trr-trr." Both hens and roosters make "frightened" cackles when first they sense danger. After the danger passes, their cackling is full-throated and rhythmical, as if they had triumphed over a weasel or fox.

          Hens make a somewhat similar cackle when they have laid an egg, but Dr. Baeumer does not think they are boasting or saying "Thank heaven that's over." He believes that it all goes back to the old days when wild hens laid eggs in hidden nests. After each delivery, the hen gave a loud cackle to regain contact with the rest of the flock.

          Chickens make screams of distress; they have battle cries and calls for privacy. Hens lead their ****** to food with a gentle "Tuck-tuck-tuck," and roosters entice pretty pullets with soft cooing. "Chicken behavior is not too different from human behavior," says Dr. Baeumer fondly. "We, too, compete for women, food and the best nesting places. When we consider the chickens' richly organized instinctive life, their memory and their capabilities, we must admit it is stupid to talk about 'the stupid hen.' "


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