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Fun Facts About Chickens

The chicken is well-known for many things – clucking about on farms, laying eggs, and being covered in big, white feathers, to name a few.

All of these things are obvious, but there are many interesting facts about this animal you may not know.

chicken facts for kids

If you’ve ever visited a local farm, it’s very likely you’ve seen a bunch of chickens running about. Perhaps you’ve even held a baby chick at one point in your life.

The chicken is much more fascinating than one may realize – read these chicken facts to learn more about this mostly domesticated animal.

Also Read: Turkey facts for kids

Quick Chicken Facts

  • Even though chickens cannot fly long distances, they can fly high enough onto trees or walls to protect themselves from danger.
  • Humans started to consume chickens only after the Hellenistic period because they were raised for cockfighting before this time. 
  • The average chicken lives up to 10 years. 
  • When a flock of chickens is threatened, they will gang up on the predator and protect themselves. 
  • The United States consumes over 8 billion chickens every year. 
  • Contrary to popular belief, chickens have excellent eyesight and color vision. 
  • Chickens are social creatures that live together in groups.

Keep in mind, we can’t tell you why the chicken crossed the road!

chicken and chicks

Like we mentioned above, most chickens are domesticated – this means they have been tamed and kept as pets.

They can fly but only for short distances of 40-60 feet.

You’ll usually find chickens on farms or in backyards, although wild chickens can be found in India and Asia.

Domesticated chickens are usually born and raised in chicken coops or some kind of fenced-in area.

The term chicken is genderless and does not refer specifically to a male or female chicken. The term hen always refers to a female chicken. A rooster is a male chicken.

chicken facts

A chick refers to the babies (of either gender). Confusing these two words is a very common mistake that many people make.

What do they eat and drink?

A chicken’s diet will not be very appealing to us humans – chickens in the wild like to eat whatever they can overpower, like mice, insects, and grains.

Domesticated chickens are often given “chicken feed” which is specifically created for chickens to give them the proper nutrition they need to grow.

Chicken feed contains grains, vegetable/animal proteins, and other added minerals and nutrients.

hen drinking water

The average chicken might drink up to 500ml of water a day. It’s important for chickens to stay well hydrated – hens in particular are more sensitive to water deficiency than food deficiency.

It can even affect how well they lay eggs.

What do they look like?

Despite popular belief, not all chickens look exactly the same – they can come in different sizes and colors.

However, the general body structure of chickens is rather similar, and includes a tiny head with a very plump body.

Most chickens also have scale-covered legs and sharp claws used for gripping objects and walking.

chicken tiny head

Chickens aren’t just white, brown, and black – they can be gold, silver, red, blue, and green!

Male chickens, also called roosters, are usually more attractive than the females.

rooster

They have brighter colors and longer tails, with pointed feathers on their back and head.

Domestic Chicken

For more than 7,000 years, people have raised chickens for their meat and eggs.  They also make good pets and are generally tame and gentle.

chicken pet

They were first domesticated in China and India.

Chicken Behavior

Chickens are social, they like to be awake most of the time and peck around. They can develop affection for a caring owner and like being petted.

Happy chickens will show behaviors such as nesting, preening, scratching, dust bathing and regular egg laying.

Chicken are said to have the ability to recognize human faces.

Chicken Lifespan

Chicken usually live 5-10 years. But the longest recorded lifespan for a chicken is 16 years.

Enemies of Chicken

Animals like bobcats, hawks, snakes, raccoons, foxes, owls, opossums are their enemies who prey on them.

Believe it or not Fun Facts!

Believe it or not, it is most likely that chickens were first domesticated for fighting each other, not for food.

Forcing chickens to fight each other, or “cockfighting,” is illegal in all 50 states today, and is considered to be a form of animal cruelty. People can now be punished by the law for this type of crime.

law-justice-police

Believe it or not, despite popular belief, chickens are not completely flightless. Chickens can fly a little bit – well enough to make it over a fence or even up a tree, no farther than 50 feet, but the record for the  longest flight by any chicken is 301 feet. This world record flight lasted 13 seconds.

Chicken can run as fast as 9 miles per hour.

Believe it or not, there are more chickens than any other type of bird species in the world – around 25 billion, to be exact.

There are only 7 billion people in the entire world, so that means there are more chicken than people on the planet! We are certainly outnumbered by our feathered friends, aren’t we?

chickens

Believe it or not, chickens can be induced into a hypnotic state by drawing a straight line in front of their beaks. This is called “tonic immobility,” and it means a catatonic fear-induced state.

It is induced by holding a chicken on the ground and drawing a straight line using chalk in front of them – the chicken will focus on the line and become hypnotized and motionless. When the chicken is released, it will remain motionless for 30 seconds to 30 minutes, or until distracted/moved.

Like people, chicken can have dreams.

It was found that Chicken produced larger and heavier eggs when they listened to classical music.

KFC is loved worldwide. Believe it or not, if all the chicken eaten at the various KFC outlets all over the world were placed one after the other, they could encircle the earth 11 times. 

brown and white eggs

White eggs are laid by chicken with white earlobes. Brown eggs are laid by chicken with red earlobes.

Chicken never pees, their urine is mixed in their poop.

Sometimes two hens can use the same nest.

Farmers sometimes use golf balls (fake eggs for the chicken) to lure the hen to lay in a particular location.

Believe it or not, the chicken is the closest living relative to the Tyrannosaurus Rex!

dinosaur cartoon

An average hen can lay up to 300 eggs a year, and keep turning her eggs 30 to 50 times a day. 

Older chicken lay larger eggs. Younger chicken lay more eggs.

Chicken cannot taste sweetness.

In Gainesville, Florida; it is illegal to eat fried chicken with a fork. This bizarre law is however never enforced.

Most of the eggs laid by the chicken are laid in the morning, between 7 am and 11 am.

To produce 12 eggs, a hen has to eat 3 to 4 lb of feed.

9 is the world record for most yolks in a single egg.

The worlds largest egg had 2 yolks and weighed 12 ounces.

chicken henhouse

Worldwide, 97 chickens are killed every 0.05 seconds. Every year Americans consume 8 billion chickens

A chicken can have its head chopped off and still run the full length of a football field.  

The heart of a chicken beats 220 to 360 times a minute.

Animals

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