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Chicken Farming in the Big City

While I'd read that raising chickens had become more and more popular with folks in hip places like Portland, OR and Victor, ID, I was surprised to see this piece from GOOD, where photographer Todd Parsons found evidence of chickens making their way into the big city. From his essay:

"In urban settings all across the country, a growing number of city-dwellers young and old are exploring the wonders of raising and farming backyard chickens. Recently, the photographer Todd Parsons scoured the San Francisco Bay Area for evidence of this burgeoning movement. "

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His photos are beautiful, but these are two of my favorites. Of course, I'm not convinced I'm going to start chicken farming in my apartment just yet. I'm more of a shepherd at heart.

You can the full gallery here at the wonderful GOOD Magazine.

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Bone Broth 101
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Whether you drink it on its own or use it as stock, bone broth is the perfect recipe to master this winter. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education

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Why Can Parrots Talk and Other Birds Can't?
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If you've ever seen a pirate movie (or had the privilege of listening to this avian-fronted metal band), you're aware that parrots have the gift of human-sounding gab. Their brains—not their beaks—might be behind the birds' ability to produce mock-human voices, the Sci Show's latest video explains below.

While parrots do have articulate tongues, they also appear to be hardwired to mimic other species, and to create new vocalizations. The only other birds that are capable of vocal learning are hummingbirds and songbirds. While examining the brains of these avians, researchers noted that their brains contain clusters of neurons, which they've dubbed song nuclei. Since other birds don't possess song nuclei, they think that these structures probably play a key role in vocal learning.

Parrots might be better at mimicry than hummingbirds and songbirds thanks to a variation in these neurons: a special shell layer that surrounds each one. Birds with larger shell regions appear to be better at imitating other creatures, although it's still unclear why.

Learn more about parrot speech below (after you're done jamming out to Hatebeak).

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