Saturday, October 29, 2016

Brazil’s Mythical ‘Super-Chicken’: What, Exactly, Is a Chester?

New York Times
28 October 2016

What in the World

By Simon Romero

The urban legends abound. Do they really migrate all the way to Brazil each year from the North Pole? Do they really gorge on hormone-laced feed? Do they even have heads?

So much mystery shrouds a poultry staple on Brazilian dinner tables that geneticists, science writers and cooks all find themselves grappling with the same vexing question: What is a Chester, anyway?

Some say the bird is an aberration created by crossing turkeys with ostriches. Others contend that they are fathered by three-foot-tall roosters. Some go as far as to ask whether they are grown on trees in a lab. Photos and video images of living Chesters are intriguingly scarce, encouraging fanciful speculation. […]