Contact Lenses for Evil Chickens

Jeff Bone (
Thu, 01 Jul 1999 23:22:12 -0500

While on the subject of chickens and evil, I thought I'd share a
relatively amusing anecdote. THIS IS A TRUE STORY, I SWEAR. I've even
pulled a couple of links (bottom) to support it. I'm going to tell it
the way I heard it, so if there's some inaccuracy, it's second-hand.

One of my original investors and business partners in Activerse (nee
Active Paper) was a young MBA from a Texas oil money family. They had
scads of investments. One time, about a year into the life of the
company, over way too many beers at a local brew pub, he told me that
his family had made a large investment in a business to make contact
lenses for chickens. "Bullshit!" I said. "No kidding!" he replied.

Apparently, some researcher at (I think, or so he said) Texas A&M (no
Texas jokes, please, even a lot of Texans don't respect A&M ;-) had done
some study on infection and mortality rates among egg-laying hens.
Seems they were always fighting, killing, maiming, and even eating each
other. Nobody knew where the aggressive behavior came from. For
whatever reason, this researcher decided it had something to do with the
chickens' eyesight, and did a study which strongly supported the use of
contact lenses to address the issue. Somebody started a company, and my
partner's family made a sizable investment. Apparently the investment
was fairly disastrous, I'm not sure of the details.

If I'd known about this at the time he invested in my company, I might
have thought twice. ;-)