■ An Iowa State University professor has developed a virtual reality headset for chickens that will fool factory-farmed hens into thinking they’re free-range. The gadget uses a special headset that lets caged chickens pad around a virtual farmyard, pecking at virtual bugs. “I did a lot of work to get the technology right,” said inventor Austin Stewart. He admits that the device’s $40,000-per-chicken price tag might scare off many farmers, but notes that the cost would be offset by losing fewer birds to stress. “You’d be harvesting a significantly higher number of chickens,” he said.