David Boyett, a chicken rancher from Perry County in Arkansas, made headlines by creating music videos using his chickens.
In one of his recent posts on YouTube, a rooster named Rudy pounds piano keys with his feet and beak and dances for a piece of fruit. David trained Rudy to do those tricks.
So far, David has posted 42 videos of his chickens.
In the videos, David dabbles in chart toppers and showstoppers. In a rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off,” his chickens appear to bob and peck in rhythm with the teenage anthem.
At the chorus, when Swift urges listeners to “shake it off,” a chicken ruffles its feathers, unleashing a plume of dust.
In another clip dubbed “Ova Chikria,” an ode to Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” a chicken opens its beak and seems to belt the Latin lyrics.
David looks after his roster of roosters, hens and chicks at his home in the shadow of the Ouachita Mountains. He runs the DVB Nonprofit Chicken Ranch. The V stands for Virginia, his wife.
Raising the birds became David’s full-time job after he suffered some health problems. He used to work at St. Francis House, the social outreach arm of the Episcopal Church in Arkansas.
His chicken obsession began with Virginia. But the first flock they bought emigrated to their neighbor’s farm. “They had no sense of loyalty,” he said.
Virginia soon soured on the fowls, but David’s love for the birds only grew. He started filming music videos with the chickens and trained them to perform tricks. A chunk of apple or papaya will encourage a hesitant hen to hop, he said.