8-Year-Old Is the "Chicken Whisperer"

By Yvonne Nava
|  Tuesday, Sep 1, 2009  |  Updated 9:19 AM CDT
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8-Year-Old Is the "Chicken Whisperer"

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A Sherman boy has the ability to chill out a chicken. Now that's something to cluck about!

Many kids have their quirky talents. Some can make a clover leaf with their tongue. Others can whistle like a songbird. But an 8 year-old from Sherman has the uncanny ability to hypnotize a chicken, so to speak.

Joshua McCarthy will pick up a fluttering bird, hold it gently for a few moments then lay it down on its back, where it will lay motionless for several minutes, until he either picks it up or rolls it on its side, the News Times reports.

Usually, chickens are known to be nervous animals, constantly clucking and pecking at food.  But Joshua seems to have a calming affect on them. 

"He's been doing it since he was about 3," his father, Wayne McCarthy, told the newspaper. "We started calling him, 'The Chicken Whisperer.' "

Joshua, a third-grader at Sherman School, said it all started years ago as an innocent trick on his hen, Crooked Beak.

"I was just curious what would happen," he told the newspaper. Somewhat to his surprise, Crooked Beak held the unnatural position, initially alarming Joshua's mother.

The technique Joshua uses is one researchers use to measure stress levels in chickens, Michael Darre, a professor of poultry science at the University of Connecticut, told the newspaper.
 

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