The Chicken Defense

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Scott Nelson/Getty Images

DESERT MISSION: U.S. troops will be installing new safety features to their Hum-Vees ... live chickens.

Friday, Feb. 21, 2003
A war against Iraq will see the debut of some of the most sophisticated weaponry ever used. But U.S. Marines will also rely on one of the most low-tech detection devices around: chickens. Worried that the pollution from blown oil installations will clog up complicated detection equipment and make it difficult to pick up deadly chemicals and nerve agents, U.S. marines will drive into battle across the dusty plains of Iraq with caged chickens atop their Hum-Vees.

The chickens, which were otherwise destined for Kuwaiti dinner tables, will work in the same...