Somewhere in Eastern Europe, a chicken of unusual size is ruffling feathers. Named Merakli, the behemoth was filmed by a guy named Fitim Sejfijaj, who posted the footage to the Facebook page of a Kosovo-based "decorative poultry" group. As the bird steps out of a chicken coop that can barely contain him, his feet emerge looking like a large dog's paws and he prances in a circle before another large chicken under the coop emerges, reports Mashable. After the footage was posted on Reddit, the video went viral, with many people expressing concern and downright horror at the sheer size of the creature.
But while many have called into question the validity of the video, experts say the bird is, in fact, real, reports UPI. It's what's called a Brahma chicken, which the Livestock Conservancy calls the "King of All Poultry." Brahma chickens were bred in the US using huge chickens imported from China. Males can reach a whopping 18 pounds, while females can range from 13 to 14; per the National Chicken Council, the live weight of broiler chickens (which are bred for their meat) tends to be about 6 pounds. Brahmas are considered a hardy breed that lays large brown eggs primarily from October to May, but the Conservancy notes that "because of the size of the hen, trampling of the chicks must be guarded against" during the first days of a Brahma chick's precarious early life. (The CDC is warning people to stop kissing their chickens.)