"This picture is dedicated to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and to all those earnest men and women on farms and in the hatcheries, whose untiring efforts in breeding better poultry eventually will give us the chicken of tomorrow."
In the 1950s a little agricultural company in Texas called The Texas Company wanted to educate upcoming chicken farmers, elementary school students, and pretty much anyone who would listen about how hard it is to produce poultry. The Chicken of Tomorrow was the result of this desire. It is a twenty minute film about breeding better poultry. The film explains how chickens are hatched, how they are raised, how the eggs they produce are collected, and how to then cook the chicken.
"Good chicks come from good eggs."
The first few minutes of the film are spent detailing how eggs are hatched. Thousands of eggs are placed in incubator trays for up to three weeks. This heat simulates the heat generated by an egg being sat on my a mother chicken. As time goes by the yolk inside the egg develops into a baby chick. The chick then breaks through the eggshell when it's ready and stumbles out into the world looking exhausted and a little drunk. The chicks are then cleaned, sexed, and boxed up to be sent away. At this stage a chick's primary function is to eat and grow. Thus, the chicks are sent to an open land parcel to become free range chickens. Once they are old enough to begin producing eggs, the next phase in a chick's life begins.
"Look at that drumstick!"
The chickens are taken to a chicken hotel of sorts where they eat, drink, and lay eggs. The facility is loaded with special chicken cages that chickens can easily enter, but not exit. It is within these cages that the chickens lay their eggs and remain until the farmer removes it and counts and records the number of eggs layed. It is good business sense to keep chickens that lay eggs without eating a lot of food and send the poor egg producers to your dinner table.
The idea behind the Chicken of Tomorrow concept is to breed a chicken that both produces lots of eggs and is a good meat producer. Ideally a farmer should be able to get lots of eggs from a chicken without feeding it very much and then be able to sell the chicken for meat later on. As it stands, most chickens are only good for either laying eggs or being meat.
The Chicken of Tomorrow was the featured short on experiment 702 of Mystery Science Theater 3000. It is also available on the MST3K: Shorts tape. The running time of this film is 20 minutes.
http://mst3kinfo.com/daddyo/di_702s.html provided some of the production details. The film itself provided a lot of the chicken information.