The grey and Ceylon junglefowl, which are native to Southeast Asia, are two examples of the wild species that have been domesticated into the chicken (Gallus domesticus). An adult male bird is referred to as a cock or rooster; a younger male is referred to as a cockerel. A capon is a guy who has undergone castration. A sexually immature female bird is referred to as a pullet, and an adult female is termed a hen.
Chicken Scientific Classification
|Scientific Name||Gallus gallus|
Animal name origin
The term “rooster,” which refers to a roosting bird, was first used in the middle or late 1700s as a euphemism to avoid the old English word “cock,” which had a sexual connotation. It is now commonly used across North America, according to Merriam-Webster. The act of sleeping high at night is called roosting.
The fabled basilisk, often known as the cockatrice, is shown as a reptile-like being with a rooster’s top body. In a similar way, another character from Gnosticism is portrayed: Abraxas.
High altitude populations of hens, such as those found in Tibet, have unique physiological adaptations that enable them to hatch at a higher rate in low oxygen conditions. These groups’ chicken embryos express significantly more hemoglobin than do embryos from other chicken populations when their eggs are placed in a hypoxic environment. Additionally, this hemoglobin binds to oxygen more easily due to its higher affinity for the gas.
Habits and Lifestyle
Depending on the breed, the average chicken may live for five to ten years. According to Guinness World Records, the oldest known chicken in the world lived for sixteen years.
Some roosters will perform a “circle dance”—dancing in a circle around or close to a hen—initiating courtship. They frequently lower the wing that is closest to the hen. The hen is prompted by the dance to reply to his “call,” and if she does, the rooster may mount her and begin mating.
In the 2000s, more and more urban and suburban dwellers took up keeping hens as pets. Although many people raise chickens to produce eggs, they frequently refer to and care for them like any other pet, just like cats or dogs. In addition to being sociable, chickens have distinct personalities. Even though many of them don’t hug very often, they will leap onto a person’s lap, eat from their hands, obey and obey their handlers, and display affection.
An Incredible Bird: 6 Chicken Facts!
⦁ Prolific Egg Layers: Long days during the warmer months encourage hens to lay eggs, but with artificial illumination, they can do so all year round.
⦁ Pecking Orders: Chickens follow rigid social hierarchies known as pecking orders. Access to food and other resources is governed by these social hierarchies.
⦁ Before Meat, Eggs: In the past, chickens were mostly raised for their eggs; their meat was regarded as a byproduct. Beginning around the middle of the 20th century, this began to change.
⦁ 74% of chicken eggs produced now come from commercial farms. These kinds of farms were first introduced in Great Britain in the 1920s, but they didn’t expand across the United States until the end of World War II.
⦁ It’s Not Their Strong Suit to Fly: Chickens are winged birds, although they are not recognized as for their skill at flying. Their ability to “fly” is limited, and they typically only do so in response to danger.
⦁ One hefty bird: standing as tall as a toddler and weighing 16.5 pounds, this is the largest chicken in the world!
The chicken is a member of the genus Gallus, the family Phasianidae, the order Galliformes, the class Aves, the phylum Chordata, and the kingdom Animalia. That genus includes the common chicken found in many parts of the world. The scientific nomenclature for the domesticated chicken, however, is a topic of intense controversy within the scientific community. Some people believe that the chicken, or Gallus gallus, is a tamed form of the wild red jungle bird. Some identify the bird with the scientific name G. gallus domesticus, referring to it as a subspecies of that very bird. Others, like the USDA, believe that the scientific term for the domesticated chicken is G. domesticus. In any case, every chicken is a member of the same genus, family, order, class, and phylum.
The entire species was once referred to as the domestic fowl, or just the fowl. A young tamed bird was referred to as a “chicken” back then. A relic from this era, “hens and chickens,” is still frequently used today.
In addition, the names given to chickens vary based on factors such as age and gender. Mature males are typically referred to as roosters in the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, and as cocks in locations like the U.K. and Ireland. Cockerels are the name for immature males. In the meantime, mature females are referred to as hens, and young females as pullets. Capons are chickens that are raised for their flesh.
Appearance and Behavior
There are numerous breeds and categories of chickens. Their origin, skin color, plumage color, size, comb type, number of toes, egg coloring, and amount of feathering are just a few of the traits that set them apart from one another. Generally speaking, though, chickens are round-chested, squat birds. They are often no taller than 27.6 inches and weigh about 5.7 pounds on average.
Both sexes have lobed wattles beneath their bills and fleshy combs atop their heads. Caruncles are the collective term for this and other fleshy protuberances. Hackles are sharp, shiny feathers that decorate the neck; saddles are additional feathers that grow along the back. Typically, these birds’ tails are high and arched. In a few breeds, the tail may grow to a length of 12 inches or more. Compared to their female counterparts, males, also referred to as roosters, usually display more vivid and striking hues.
Chickens are social animals that coexist in groups called flocks. In their flocks, they establish social hierarchies due of their innate intelligence and curiosity. Pecking orders are these hierarchies that control access to resources such as food, mates, and nesting places. Usually, they have one dominant male, a few subdominant males, and two or more females that the dominant male keeps a close eye on.
Using their beaks in a pecking order, higher-ranking individuals might attack lower-ranking ones in an attempt to push them away from resources like food. Males may also swat at each other with their claws or beat each other with their wings during fights.
Chickens interact with one another through a variety of calls. For example, crows from roosters are employed as territorial cues to nearby roosters; occasionally, jarring shocks cause them to signal. Hens cluck after laying their eggs. In addition, they cluck to attract their chicks—a term for young chickens—to them. Additionally, chickens use different warning sounds to alert one another to danger depending on whether it is approaching from above or from below.
The wild red jungle fowl, which is thought to have originated in Southeast Asia and probably some regions of India, is the source of chickens. It is thought that these birds were domesticated more than once, beginning about 7,500 years ago. They might have been domesticated first for religious reasons or for cockfighting entertainment, which is currently prohibited in a lot of places worldwide.
The majority of hens bred nowadays are kept in captivity. Their natural environment is typically a factory farm. However, they have two main habitats in the wild. While roosting locations are usually situated in lower tree branches and are used at night, feeding areas are frequently made up of open canopies and plants beneath them. Chickens kept in captivity need the same two-habitat arrangement. This usually comprises an enclosed outdoor space with fencing and a chicken coop.
In the wild, chickens are opportunistic feeders since they are omnivores. Usually, they use their beaks to scratch the ground in quest of food, looking for fruits, vegetables, seeds, insects, and other items. They occasionally eat larger creatures, like as mice, lizards, and small snakes. The main diet of hens kept in captivity is chicken feed, which is mainly made of cereals and their derivatives.
Predators and Threats
Industrialized farming poses the greatest threat to chickens worldwide. Through mass farming techniques, almost 50 billion chickens are processed annually for their meat and eggs.
Many diseases can affect chickens. Most infamously, their dander and excrement frequently contain salmonella. To eradicate the lethal germs, their meat needs to be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
In nature, Rodents, raccoons, weasels, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, snakes, skunks, opossums, and birds of prey are among the common predators of chickens.
Reproduction, Babies and Lifespan
Because hens may lay up to 300 eggs a year, the chicken was referred to as “the bird that gives birth every day” in ancient Egypt. A rooster may dance in a circle while pointing a lowered wing in the direction of the female it is courting, which normally happens in the spring or summer. The female will crouch down to initiate mating if she is receptive.
Usually, hens attempt to lay their eggs in the same spot each time. They may even transfer eggs from one neighboring nest to their own. Occasionally, they search for pre-existing nests that already contain eggs. To complete a clutch, hens lay about 12 eggs; all of the eggs are incubated following the completion of the clutch. Consequently, eggs deposited at various times hatch at roughly the same time.
The hen “goes brooding” after she stops laying eggs. She protects the eggs by sitting, or setting, on the nest, flipping them frequently, and hardly ever leaving them alone. Within a day or two of one another, every egg in the clutch hatches. The hen eventually clucks back when she hears the chicks peeking inside the eggs. From there, the chicks use their egg teeth to “pip,” or peck, breathing holes in their eggs. Then, they ingest yolk for sustenance and slumber for a bit. Chicks emerge from the nest after digging a larger hole, and they stay there for around two days. Hens tend to After that, they guided their chicks to food and water but did not feed them personally for a few weeks.
The time between ovulation and egg laying is about 23 to 26 hours. Hens lay a lot of eggs because they can ovulate again in as little as one hour after the last egg is laid. Over 300 eggs can be laid in a single year by certain breeds.
Chicks hatched from fertilized embryos grow quickly—about 21 days. Within four to five weeks, baby chicks cover themselves with down and grow all of their feathers out. Males and females may both generate viable sperm and eggs at about six months of age.
In terms of longevity, flocks of free-roaming hens have an average lifespan of six to eight years. The. Before being killed for their meat, the majority of chickens utilized in the poultry business lay eggs for two to three years. A hen from Alabama named Matilda is the oldest living chicken ever recorded; she survived to be sixteen years old and is in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Population and Conservation
It was projected that there were 23.7 billion chickens worldwide in 2018. When compared to 2011, when the population was estimated to be 19 billion, that is a huge growth. Over 50 billion chickens are processed annually to produce meat and eggs.
There is no way that chickens are endangered; they are distributed all over the planet. Some chickens are raised utilizing free-range agricultural methods, while the majority are raised on industrial farms where they eventually perish. Just a tiny portion of hens worldwide are kept as pets.
Types of Chickens
There is a large range of varieties when it comes to chicken breeds. The Island Republic
⦁ Feathers: Red-orange in color. Weigh six to eight pounds.
⦁ Orpington: short legs, deep breasts. turns moody a lot.
⦁ Plymouth Rock: One comb, one full breast. Good stratification.
⦁ Australorp: Green-shaded black feathers. quite busy.
⦁ Wyandotte: Feathers in red, black, or white. 6-7 pounds in weight.
⦁ Leghorn: White, small, and adept at foraging
What are 5 interesting facts about chicken?
What are 5 interesting facts about chicken?
Five Unexpected Truths About Chickens
⦁ When the chicks are still inside their eggs, hens converse with them! It’s amazing how well chickens remember faces .
⦁ In reality, chickens are not herbivores but rather omnivores.
⦁ According to several studies, hens are as intelligent as toddler humans.
⦁ Carefully, hens tend to their eggs.
What is special about chicken?
Animals like chickens are highly intelligent. According to studies, hens are capable of self-awareness and individual recognition. Like a chick learning from her mother what foods are healthy to eat, they pick up knowledge from one another. Chickens are also capable of solving complicated puzzles.
Why chicken is good for you?
Rich in protein, chicken lowers the risk of heart disease and aids in weight management. Tryptophan, an amino acid found in chicken, has been connected to increased brain levels of serotonin, or the “feel good” hormone.
Why is it named chicken?
Some people mistakenly think that “chicken” is the plural version of “chick,” much like “oxen” is the plural of “ox.” This is untrue; the word originates from the Anglo-Saxon word cicen, the plural of which is cicen-u.