Have you been doing much thinking about chickens lately? Yeah, me too.

What is it about these flightless birds that have us so preoccupied? Having been thoroughly disappointed finding out that National Chicken Day back in July was actually National Fried Chicken Day, I thought, well, heck, shouldn't there be a National Chicken Month? To my surprise, there is, and it's coming up in September. Unfortunately, it's less about admiring these curious creatures, and more about consuming them in a variety of ways.

The Origin of The Modern Day Chicken.

Before we run headlong into a chicken admiration fest, let's take a look into the chicken's past. It turns out that chickens, and their ancestors, have been around a lot longer than even Colonel Sanders would have imagined.

Are Chickens Really Dinosaurs?

Well, no, they're chickens. But it is true that scientists believe chickens are the closest living creature related to, are you ready, the T-Rex. Yep. Turns out those cluckers have evolved over millions of years and their predecessors survived some cataclysmic asteroid strike that eliminated dinosaurs from the face of the earth. The prehistoric chicken survived in part, they believe, because as ground dwellers, they would not have been as affected by widespread post-asteroid fires as would the tree-dwelling birds. It's just too far back for me to know for sure. But it sounds plausible.

Finger Licking Good and Beloved Pets. Chickens are More Than Dinner to Many.

Don't get me wrong, I love eggs and I'm no stranger to a chicken fajita, hearty chicken soup, chicken thighs on the smoker, or good old-fashioned fried chicken. However, it's not lost on me that there are many who enjoy chickens as beloved family pets. My wife, for example, grew up in a family that raised chickens. She named them and fed them and then, whether tricked or under protest, ate them eventually. Perhaps this trauma inspired her desire to keep Exotic Chickens in our backyard.

I don't know how long I can keep her from realizing her dream, but so far the threat of what our Golden Retriever might do to her 'Designer Chickens' has kept her dream at bay.

As we prepare for National Chicken Month in September, enjoy this fowl gallery.

The Incredible Edible Chicken

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