Chicken eyeglasses, also known as chickens specs, chicken goggles, generically as pick guards and under other names, are small eyeglasses worn by chickens intended to keep them from attacking and cannibalizing one another.
OK. First: were you aware that a chicken can be so fucked up as to peck another chicken’s eyes out, and then devour it alive? I certainly was not. Apparently they’re like sharks in that the sight of blood whips them into a murderous frenzy… except (as far as I know) sharks are primarily concerned with eating prey, and not each other. (Evidence to the contrary is welcomed, should you possess knowledge of this topic.)
These glasses have been mass-produced since the early 1900s, most of them outfitted with rose-tinted lenses to allow the red color of the blood to blend into the background. Certainly puts a whole new spin on the phrase “looking through rose-colored glasses…”
But let’s back up a second and talk about that image above. Did you read it? I particularly love the delightful observation that “a flock so equipped would present a very intellectual appearance.” Really? Chickens wearing glasses with pink lenses engineered to stave off their primal blood lust? I guess standards of intellectualism were a little, uh, looser in the early 20th century.
One related side note: another tactic for preventing the killer instinct is apparently beak-clipping. Do you remember how everyone was up-in-arms about the rumor that KFC breeds genetically-modified mutant chickens that lack beaks (among other things?) This assertion was deemed false by Snopes.com (an authority you can actually trust on the internet), so you shouldn’t worry that you’re ingesting mutant flesh when you’re digging into your bucket of fried chicken from the KFC drive-thru. I would be worried about you for different reasons, mainly that you’re actually eating KFC in the first place. But I digress. The point of bringing that up was to point out that hey, the concept of beakless chickens isn’t beyond-the-pale.
Do you want to get even more disturbed by learning about various other disgusting “abnormal behaviors of birds in captivity?” Yup, there’s a Wikipedia article for that.
- Feather Pecking
- Feather Plucking
- Toe Pecking
- Vent Pecking—aka pecking of the “cloaca,” or “posterior opening that serves as the only such opening for the intestinal, reproductive, and urinary tracts of certain animal species.” You think that sounds unpleasant? “Vent pecking clearly causes pain and distress to the bird being pecked. Tearing of the skin increases susceptibility to disease and may become cannibalistic leading to evisceration of the pecked bird and ultimately, death.” Great.
- Stereotypy—aka “a repetitive or ritualistic movement, posture, or utterance… such as body rocking, or complex, such as self-caressing, crossing and uncrossing of legs, and marching in place. They are found in people with mental retardation, autism spectrum disorders, tardive dyskinesia and stereotypic movement disorder; studies have shown stereotypies associated with some types of schizophrenia.” Mentally ill birds masturbating uncontrollably? Again: great.
- Polydipsia—aka drinking an absurd amount of water. (Not in the fraternity initiation way.)
- Sham or “Vacuum” Dustbathing—aka cleaning feathers by rolling around in phantom dust or sand.
- Jealous, Over-Possessive Parrot—aka… um, I’m not sure, since there’s no further explanation of this. Is it only seen in parrots?
- Laying Infertile Eggs
- Chronic Egg-Laying—again, no explanation. Is this the avian version of Michelle Duggar-style hyper-fertility?
Well, wasn’t that interesting! I’ve learned that I possibly don’t ever want to eat chicken again, and I definitely don’t ever want to own a pet bird. I know why the caged bird sings… it sings because it’s slowly going insane while confined in its cage and wants to rip open the asshole of another bird.