Through Rose Colored Glasses


In December 1938, there was a murder in a New Jersey penitentiary yard… not of humans, but of prison chickens that were killing other prison chickens (which I’m sure made the chicken farmers very nervous). I know it this may sound strange, but I got your attention didn’t I?

See… in 1939, a man named Joseph Haas, founder of National Band and Tag Company (that was located in Newport, Kentucky), developed “Anti-Pix” glasses for chickens…yes, you heard right, glasses. These little glasses, made of aluminum and red plastic lenses, were believed to help neutralize the sight of blood when chickens would try and fight to the death…which probably would have been helpful back in 1938 at the New Jersey penitentiary, right?

glasses for chickens

Anyways, you see…chickens have a natural pecking order in their flock. To communicate with each other about who is the bigger and better chicken, they literally peck each other, sometimes drawing blood. When blood appears, for some reason a chicken will peck and peck at the other chicken that is bleeding, resulting in its death. Once Joseph Haas developed the rose colored glasses (and even figured out how to get the little glasses to stay on the chickens beaks with a pin through their nostrils) he actually helped to “save” chickens lives.

So…you may ask yourself now…why don’t we see all chickens running around with these cool red shades on…particularly in my case, at Parky’s Farm? Well, there are actually a couple of reasons. First, the rose colored glasses are no longer mass-produced, in fact they are no longer produced anywhere. Second, it was discovered that the rose-colored glasses were actually produced because it enticed chicken owners to buy them, as well as a bit of trouble for an entire flock. Now most chickens are raised in individual cages.

Today, however, chicken blinders and peepers are available for purchase for the farmer who is having issues with chickens pecking each other. The peepers are similar in style to the Anti-Pix, but are opaque so they can’t see directly in front of them, which reduces pecking accuracy.

Have I got your curiosity up? Well, come visit Parky’s Farm and check out our flock of chickens. You probably won’t see one wearing cool shades, but you may enjoy their very stylish “boots”, “capes”, “saddles” and “combs”.

Sarah Schneider, Parky’s Farm