In 1960, scientists with the poultry research branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture successfully created a chicken-turkey hybrid. They called the new bird a “churk.” Because of the difficulty of creating the hybrid, only three male churks were created. They all displayed mental and physical problems. They had only half the intelligence of either chickens or turkeys. They were mostly silent, only letting out a feeble chirp if disturbed. Their feathers grew twisted. They had crooked legs and beaks. And they had to be kept in a separate pen from the chickens and turkeys, to prevent them from being pecked to death.

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