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Simple Chicken Facts

Simple facts about chickens

French Black Copper Maran hen
  • Hens will lay eggs without a rooster.

  • A rooster is needed to have fertilized eggs.

  • Hens usually begin to lay eggs between 5 to 7 months of age, depending on the breed.

  • It takes a hen roughly 24 hours to form an egg.

  • It takes 21 days to hatch a chick from an egg.

  • Only one nest box for every 3 to 4 hens is needed.

  • Chickens do cry when upset or pouting.

  • Most chicken breeds will eat ¾ cup of feed a day during warm months; more during cold weather.

  • Egg that has been fertilized does not have a baby until after the incubation process has begun.

  • A fertilized egg can begin to develop a chick at 88 degrees.

Plymouth Buff Rock Bantams go broody often
Silver Laced Cochin hens go broody often
  • Chickens have full color vision.

  • The dark color of a chicken's ear lobe or light color will tell you whether they will lay dark or light colored eggs.

  • They have dreams when they sleep.

  • Chickens can have stress and they feel pain.

  • Chickens will mourn for each other.

  • Chickens communicate with each other using sounds that has a specific


  • Most standard chicken breeds have the capacity to live between 8 to 15 years. Some have been known to live up to 20 years.

  • Mother hens communicate with their chicks that are still inside the egg shell.

  • Capable of empathy; A British study showed that mother hens felt anxiety when their baby chicks were in distress, which, according to researchers, means mother hens are capable of feeling empathy.

  • Chickens are creatures of habit, once they survive a night safe in a spot, they’ll return every night, once they find food/water in a place, they return to that place, once they find a nest in a place, they return to that place.

  • Chickens prefer clean coops, water and food contrary to popular belief.

  • Chickens respond to body language and a smile.

  • Chickens enjoy playing.

  • Chickens enjoy a warm bath in the summer.

  • Chickens can watch and learn from each other.

  • Chickens respond to love and attention.

  • Chickens will bully and brutalize a new addition (stranger) to the flock if they don’t know them.

  • Some chicken breed hens prefer to be a mother and goes broody several

times a year.

  • Chickens possess self-control when it comes to holding out for a better food.

  • Over 452 million hens are used for eggs every year.

  • There are more chickens in the world than any other breed; over 19 billion.

  • The rooster uses his wattle in a dance to attract hens to him.

  • Chickens have more bones in their neck than does a giraffe.

  • Silkies chicken breeds have 5 toes.

  • Damage to a chicken’s beak is intensely painful. At the end of their beak is a specialized cluster of highly sensitive mechanoreceptors, called the bill tip organ, which allows chickens to make fine tactile discriminations (Gentle and Breward 1986).

  • A chicken’s heart beat over 300 beats a minute.

  • Chickens only have 350 taste buds and can’t taste sweetness, but they can taste saltiness. (humans have 10,000)

  • The rooster’s dance is called tidbitting.