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The Associated Press reports on the efforts of William Muir, a Purdue University scientist, to breed “congenial” chickens that are less likely to fight with each other in cages at they quite literally look to get to the top of the pecking order.

The problem is that the white leghorn hens that have been bred to produce 300 ore more eggs a year also tend to be extremely territorial. When kept in cramped cages, they often turn to pecking attacks that some describe as akin to poultry cannibalism, and that is partially responsible for five percent of the nation’s chickens dying each year from injuries or disease.

Animal rights groups have been pushing for laws that would ban the use of these “battery cages,” and seven states have passed laws that eventually will ban or limit them.

Muir says that not only will the breeding of these gentler chickens stop the fighting, but it also could lead to a kind of hen that lives longer and ultimately is more productive.
KC's View:
Maybe after he is done with chickens, Muir could turn his attention to the US Congress.