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Then and Now

Poultry research has a long history in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State.

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Photo credit: The Pennsylvania State University Archives

Poultry research has a long history in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State. From improving the size and quality of livestock animals to combating avian influenza, it has numerous applications and an incalculable impact on agriculture today.

In the 1960s, one area of interest in poultry research was animal behavior. Research into animal behavior included some bizarre—and fascinating—topics. Martin Schein, pictured, investigated a common problem—chicken cannibalism. Additionally, Schein and fellow poultry science faculty member E. B. Hale conducted a study on the sexual behavior of turkeys. They found that a male turkey would mate with a model that resembled a female turkey—even if it was just a head on a stick!

Schein and Hale made major contributions in the areas of poultry science and, along with several others, founded the Animal Behavior Society, “a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to promoting education and research in the field of animal behavior,” in 1964.