On January 5, Juche 56 (1967), Chairman Kim Jong Il inspected a poultry farm in Pyongyang.
Darkness set in and chickens went to roost already, with plenty of feed still left in feeders on the floor.
The Chairman asked why the fowls left the feed.
“Chickens don’t eat the feed but go to roost when it gets dark,” a technician of the farm answered.
“Then why don’t you light up the hen house?”
(Light up the hen house?!…)
The fowl expert was struck dumb.
Then the Chairman told him to the following effect: On summer nights country folk hang the lights on the eaves of their houses and burn dried mugwort leaves in the gardens to keep mosquitoes off. And then the entire families sit around twisting straw ropes and having lively chats. Meanwhile, chickens are engrossed in pecking around the bright garden, unaware of the passage of night. The use of such behaviour of the bird makes it possible to increase its fattening speed.
“If you put on lights in the hen house at night and give them feed, chickens will keep eating food instead of going to roost early. Then you can fatten them faster. You can do it if you pay a little attention as it does not require much labour.”
Afterwards, the technician did as the Chairman had told him and watched the fowls’ rate of fattening. He found that 63-day-old hens grew 0.6-0.8 kilogram heavier than before.
The happy technician heaved a sigh of admiration.