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Professor Robert Sanford talks about 'The Chicken Course' on Maine Public

Robert Sanford, the chair of USM’s Environmental Science and Policy program, joined a recent Maine Public radio call-in show about chickens.

Sanford and Associate Professor Cheryl Laz, who leads the Economics program, have been teaching a class about chickens for four years.

It’s called, simply, “The Chicken Course.’”

“It’s really about how the chicken can be a focus for preparing students for college learning,” Sanford said. “If you think about the chicken, there are many different aspects of it that are appropriate for study. For example, there are labor relations in chicken factories, there’s egg production, there are chickens in history and chickens in art.”

There are many examples, he said.

“Sailors used to tattoo pictures of a chicken on their feet in hopes that it would help prevent  them from downing,” Sanford said. “Roman generals would cut out chicken entrails and use them to forecast how battles would go.”

Listen to the full program on Maine Public.