TALL TWISTER TALES

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Mr. Prepared Has the Truth About Tornado Chickens!  

 Violent tornadoes can hit suddenly without warning – and they can also cause some very strange things to happen!

 I’m Mr. Prepared and no one knows better than me that twisters are no laughing matter!  That’s why I created www.MrPrepared.com, to help you prepare for such natural disasters with the proper emergency plans, 72 Hour Kit, food reserves, generator and other survival supplies.  

 You can’t help but shake your head, however, at some of the strange side effects tornadoes can cause with their combination of incredible speed and super-strong winds!

 There are stories of horses being lifted up and put down safely two miles away – and houses being picked up so gently that the person inside the house didn’t even know he was airborne – and ended up walking outside and finding the step off his porch was a lot steeper than it had been!

 Those may or may not be tall tales, but one bizarre ability a tornado has been proven to have is to cleanly take all the feathers off a chicken, with the bird remaining intact.  Some would-be experts used to think the feathers literally exploded off the bald bird – but I don’t know that many of us have ever witnessed a feather that spontaneously combusted. 

 Back in 1842, though, a man named Elias Loomis got so obsessed with finding out how a tornado managed to pluck a chicken in seconds flat that he decided to devise his own verrrrrry unusual experiment.   This comes under the heading of “Kids, don’t try this at home.  Or you Grown-ups either!”

 Loomis took a dead chicken – which could have been utilized more successfully for dinner than for this stunt – loaded a cannon with gunpowder and used the poor clucker for a cannonball.  He fired the chicken straight up into the air at an estimated 341 miles per hour.

 Results?  About what you’d expect.  Yes, the feathers came off – but the rest came down as diced chicken.  Loomis decided it might have worked correctly if he had shot the chicken at around 100 mph.  But apparently he had had enough poultry target practice for awhile.   So he tried something else.  He put chickens under vacuum jars to see if their feathers would explode.  Again, the feathers refused to cooperate.

 There is an answer to the chicken-feather conundrum, however.  Scientists now believe tornadoes take the feathers off cleanly because of a protective poultry instinct called “Flight Molt.” 

 Chickens use Flight Molt to escape their enemies.  For instance, when a predator like a wolf clamps its jaw down on a chicken, it’s sometimes left with only a mouthful of feathers – the bird is able to actually discard the feathers in order to escape.  Since the tornado is obviously a stressful situation for all animals, both two and four-legged, the chicken reacts by instantly shedding its plumage – even though it’s not a real big help.  Just think how stressful it is for humans during a tornado even if they are prepared.  Let alone not being prepared.

 What separates us from chickens – besides our inability to lay eggs! – is that we can react to tornadoes in ways that can genuinely be life-savers.  And more importantly, since tornadoes strike so quickly, we can prepare in advance to make sure we’re as ready as can be.  Having the knowledge of what to do when a tornado is coming could be the difference between life and death.

 Don’t let any member of your family be picked up and moved around in a Tornado.  They may land in a different neighborhood.  It is your responsibility to learn how you can be prepared in case of a Tornado.  Check out my free downloadable special report, “Top 10 Facts for Tornado Survival,” on www.MrPrepared.com, where you’ll find lots of other great information on emergency preparedness and ways to obtain the survival supplies you need to have on hand!  Until next time, Be Smart!  Be Safe!  Be Prepared! This is Mr. Prepared, bringing Awareness to Preparedness!