A Chinese farmer was in the news recently for making his charge of chickens wear glasses.
Zhang Xiaolong from Fuijan Province thinks his roosters are behaving far less aggressively now they are bespectacled.
The glasses prevent the birds from looking one another in the eye, seeing red, and pecking each other violently in a feathery fight to the death. Instead, the glasses force them to look sideways which, according to Xialong, makes them more cautious.
“It has worked really well,” says the farmer who based the design of the chicken glasses on his own spectacles. “They can’t attack each other so confrontations are minimised.”
But having conducted a bit of investigative Googling ourselves, we can tell you that, creative though Xialong has been, he is not the first to realise the dream of providing eyewear to chickens in order to curb their aggressive instincts.
Founded in 1902, National Band & Tag was (and still is) a Kentucky-based manufacturer of identification tags for animals. In 1939 it invented and began manufacturing its own chicken sunglasses “to control cannibalism.” National’s Anti-Pix comprised of red tinted plastic lenses on a hinged frame which sat nicely on the beast’s beak.
From National’s 1940 catalogue:
“Anti-Pix is simplicity itself. With head erect, a bird is rendered color-blind by the red celluloid shields; cannot detect raw flesh or blood.”
|Anti-Pix – National’s original Chicken Sunglasses|
|A page from National Band & Tag’s 1940 catalogue|
BUT REMEMBER: WEARING PROTECTIVE GLASSES DOES NOT MAKE YOU A CHICKEN.
Some of History’s most prestigious figures have worn glasses.