Sky isn’t falling but winds are humming

Chickens of Arkwright are on strike. They’re not laying eggs. They say they are the new canaries in the coal mine: “chickens in the infrasound.”

Or as they put it: “Chickens debilitated by industrial wind-turbine-produced infrasound to which they are highly sensitive.” One anonymous chicken said, “Our hearing range is way better in the infrasound range than the homing pigeon, every chicken knows. Birds and mammals went our evolutionary ways only about 300 million years ago.

“Our brains are a lot alike: Hippocampus, central nervous system, immune system. Neither birds nor humans have immunological defenses against infrasonic sound,” she said.

A precocious young chick added, “We’re social and empathetic; we have long term memory (when our hippocampus isn’t messed with). We’re as smart as crows but we can’t get out of the way when those wind turbine weapons are aimed at us. Could you lay an egg with that bone-vibrating noise coming at you every two seconds, depending on wind speed, when the blade passes the pole?”

“The point is,” an older striking chicken (really, she was beautiful) said, “Look what infrasound does to humans: ‘sleep deprivation, irritability, nausea, heart problems, anxiety…’ If that’s what it does to you egg eaters, imagine what it does to us?”

After a silence, Chicken Anon spoke again: “A Waterloo chicken farmer’s land was surrounded by 37 turbines, just like those surrounding us. The hens stopped laying. At first, their eggs had no yolk, then nothing, no eggs. Finally, the farmer moved 15 miles, to a township with good wind laws — one mile setbacks, 35 decibel sound maximum, property value guarantees…).

The chickens have their critics who say their complaint is due to the nocebo effect: somehow chicken owners inadvertently communicated their unconscious anxiety about the coming of the wind turbines, creating the psychosomatic chicken syndrome. Critics say you can’t trust a chicken, even if it drops dead. It still could have been all in her head.

The striking chickens have said all they can, like the historic canaries in the coal mines, alerting humans to danger.

Roy Harvey is a Mayville resident.