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Simple Chicken Facts

Simple facts about chickens

  • 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

  • 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.

  • A chicken can fly a maximum of 13 seconds.

  • Hens will lay fewer, but larger, eggs as they age.

  • Stress will cause a chicken to lose its feathers.

  • Chickens naturally loses feathers to a molt once a year, usually in the fall of the year.

  • Chickens prefer a wide roost to a skinny one where they can rest on top their feet.

  • Chicks are naked until they get their feathers at around 2 months of age.

  • Chickens have distinct personalities, and are emotionally, and behaviorally complex individuals.

  • Broody hens constantly turn their eggs for 3 weeks until they hatch.

  • Broody hens need access to food and water during the time they are hatching chicks.

  • Chickens make great pets.

  • Chickens are sensitive to touch, and their skin contains numerous kinds of receptors for temperature, pressure, and pain.

  • Chickens are representative of the galliformes, a bird group that also

includes turkeys, partridges and pheasants.

  • Most roosters are friendly.

  • Chickens feel hunger, pain, and fear.

  • Accessories are sold for pet chickens, chicken bracelets,

leashes, diapers, sweaters, no crow collars, and aprons/saddles.

  • Certain breeds of hens can lay over 300 eggs per year.

  • There are large, medium, and bantam size chickens. Bantams are usually pets used in shows.

  • There are poultry shows all over the world.

  • The American Poultry Association has a specific Standard of Perfection for each breed of chicken to measure to be called by their breed.

Space Needed:

  1. Large fowl breeds need at least 4 square feet of space per bird provided they are let out to forage during the day. So, a 4’ by 8’ coop would be adequate for about 8 birds.

  2. Two pieces of furnishings are needed when confining chickens; a roost and


  1. A coop needs 3 square feet of floor space per bantam chicken and 1 square foot of ventilation per 10 square feet of floor space

  2. Perch space needed per large chicken is 12 inches and 9 inches for a bantam.

  3. The standard size for nest boxes are 12”x 12”, but your chickens won’t mind slightly smaller or larger boxes provided they fit comfortably.

  4. A chicken run should be around 10 Sq. ft. of ground space per LF chicken, and 7.5 Sq. ft. of ground space per bantam chicken.

Chicken Vernacular

  • Bantam: a smaller breed of chicken, usually 1/4-1/2 the size of standard


  • Bloom: a protective coating found on freshly laid eggs which help to prevent bacterial growth.

  • Broody: when a hen remains sitting on eggs to hatch chicks.

  • Candle: a bright light to shine through an egg to determine chick development during incubation.

  • Clutch: a batch of eggs found together in the nest.

  • Cockerel: a male chicken under one year of age.

  • Comb: the red, fleshy crown on top of a chicken's head.

  • Coop: a structure built for housing chickens.

  • Crossbreed: a chicken hatched from a rooster and a hen of different breeds.

  • Down: fluffy coat of baby chicks.

  • Dust Bath: Is the place where chickens roll in dirt to bath in to keep off lice and mites from their plumage.

  • Flock: a group of chickens residing in a single coop.

  • Free Range: chickens given access to range freely in a pasture or yard.

  • Fryer: a chicken raised for its meat.

  • Frizzle: curled feathers found on adult chickens of some breeds.

  • Layer: a hen kept for the purpose of egg production.

  • Molt: natural loss of feathers allowing a new coat to grow.

  • Nesting Box: a safe place for hens to lay eggs.

  • Roost: a bar or branch where chickens perch to sleep.

  • Pecking Order: a social ranking of a flock, usually with similar ranking of a king or queen, nobles, peers, and lower class.

  • Pinfeathers: the blood-filled tips of new developing feathers.

  • Plumage: the feathered coat of a chicken.

  • Pullet: a young female chicken under one year of age.

  • Run: fenced in area attached to a coop for a safe outdoor place for chickens.

  • Scratch: whole grains or corn feed supplement feed for chickens.

  • Starter: high protein crumbled feed given made specifically for day old to 10 weeks old chicks.

  • Sexed: newborn chicks determined to be either male or female.

  • Wattle: Fleshy skin (usually red) under the chin of a chicken.


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