Evo Morales, the left wing President of Bolivia caused bemusement and more than a few giggles when he claimed that female hormones in chickens leads to homosexuality and baldness at a recent Environmental conference. While hormones are still unfortunately used to accelerate growth in chickens in America, it's use has been banned in most Western countries. While Morales is right on many things, he's far too frequent incoherent ramblings undercut his credibility.
Meanwhile the chickens for heath care story will not go away. A State Senator in Tennessee, suggested that vegetables be traded for health care before the chickens idea even reared its head.
On Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall produced a handy analysis calculating how many chickens would be needed to cover health care costs and came up with a 'chicken gap' of approximately 416 billion assuming all chickens would be used to barter for health care at retail prices. Unfortunately the piece seems to have disappeared from the website but take my word for it.
Then there's a new site with a handy calculator that converts the cost of medical procedures into chicken currency. A hip replacement would cost 6,549 chickens. They suggest considering cattle for major expenses or investing in the 'Sue Lowden medical savings account.' Noting that an egg costs 95% less than a chicken a pallet of fertilized eggs is a great way to reduce future medical expenses. All you need is your own coop, feed and a feces pond for the inevitable flood of waste. They even offer advice to doctors on how to deal with more chickens than even KFC can handle.
Then there's the enterprising soul in Reno, Nevada who posted an ad on Craig's List. No takers yet but you never know. "Needs Heart Transplant - Have chicken"