In between jamming to More Life and cheering for the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s Russian ties, there happened to be one viral video the web couldn’t ignore. Merakli, now known as the “big chicken,” had everyone questioning if vegan life is the best way to go after seeing the animal’s gargantuan size.
According to Quartz, the clip above was uploaded to a Facebook chicken-fan group by Kosovo native Fitim Sejfijaj. As it turns out, the chicken is actually a rooster from the Brahma chicken family, a breed curated by the U.S. with imports from Shanghai. Merkali’s size was a standard before the method of quick breeding by industrial farms in the 1930’s. Since it was easier (and cheaper) for industry hybrids like the cornish cross chicken to reach the market, brahma breeds were pushed to the side.
Female brahmas grow up to 13-14 pounds, with males reaching 17-18.25 pounds. This explains why everyone is so taken aback by the animal’s look when he steps out of his coop. While large, brahmas are considered to be friendly, gentle and well mannered. They’re also healthier than cornish hens because of their free-range “lifestyle.”
The animals are only sold by breeder farms and are listed as an endangered livestock by The Livestock Conservancy. Brahma isn’t the only large chicken around. There’s also the Jersey Giant, with males growing over 13 pounds and females, 10 pounds. Like Brahma, they grow slow and aren’t used as much in the poultry industry.
Now back to More Life.