Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A medicament predicament

Just how do you make a chicken eat medicine*? Normally it's easy to feed a chicken; they eat anything. Though strangely, an exception to this rule develops when you feed them medicine: they won't eat that. It's not that they dislike the taste of the medicine - they'll take a few pecks and then leave it aside.

So, you mix the medicine in with anything. All of a sudden, the chicken develops another strange aversion: they'll eat anything they're not supposed to eat.

A solution presents itself: why not mix the medicine in with anything they're not supposed to eat? There's plenty of that around the house, from cat biscuits through to bowls of breakfast porridge. So you mix the medicine in with that. And then, contrarily, the chicken will develop a taste for anything that happens to be beside anything they're not supposed to eat. (Perhaps it is terrified by the paradox of being presented with anything they're not supposed to eat and then being allowed to eat it.)

Then, another possibility arises: company! There's nothing that excites a chicken to eat better than the company of others. In that company, the chicken will quickly scramble to eat as much as it can, excited in greed by the rapacity of its friends, and envious of any small crumb that should make its way down their beak. So, you call all the chickens to the back door, and turn the chicken out with its flock and lay down the medicine there. A fluster of feathers descends upon the food and you observe the results with pleasure. Surely, now the chook will digest its prescribed elixir! And with dismay you watch every chook but the chook you want to eat the medicine, actually eat the medicine.

I ask you. Chickens. They're almost as contrary as bloggers.

*It's just a calcium supplement to ensure sturdy eggs, chicken lovers! Nothing to worry about! 

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