Chickens are amazing creatures! I want to share some fun facts about chickens. Chickens are very interesting creatures and make great pets that poop out food for your whole family.
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20 Fun Facts About Chickens
Whether you prefer them as pets on a farm or on your dinner plate for a meal, here are 20 facts about one of the most classic farm animals!
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Chickens are living descendants of dinosaurs
Chickens are the closest living relatives of dinosaurs! Scientific evidence has proven the shared common ancestry between chickens and the Tyrannosaurus rex.
Chickens do not sweat
In general, chickens are better equipped to handle cold weather rather than hot weather. This is mainly due to their feathers.
Chickens aren’t completely flightless
Today’s domestic chickens still have the ability to fly, although not as effectively. Chickens can fly for short distances – enough to clear obstacles or reach a perch.
Chickens can swim
Some even enjoy it, but they need to be able to get out of the water to avoid drowning. They can swim leisurely but generally avoid deep waters.
Hens can eject sperm
If the hen does not want offspring with a certain rooster, she can eject its sperm to halt the fertilization process.
Chickens shed their feathers when stressed
Similar to how humans lose hair when under lots of stress, chickens start to shed their feathers. This is important to note if you have any pet chickens. This is not molting.
Chickens have better color vision than humans
Like humans, chickens have color vision and are able to see red, green, and blue light. However, what makes chicken vision unique from ours is that they are also able to see ultraviolet light, which are the colors you see when using black light!
Chickens can feel pain
Chickens have pain receptors like humans. Their beaks can even bleed. If you have ever seen a chicken pluck a feather from another hen, you know that hen felt it by the squeak she lets out.
Chickens have complex communication
Chickens have over 30 unique vocalizations that they use to communicate a wide variety of messages to other chickens, including mating calls, stress signals, warnings of danger, how they are feeling, and food discovery.
Chickens have taste buds
They can taste saltiness, but not sweetness. While humans have 8,000-10,000 taste buds, the average chicken has less than 350.
Chickens have great memories
Chickens are able to recognize over 100 different faces, even after being separated for extended periods of time, highlighting their long-term memory capabilities. They can recognize the faces of humans too!
Chickens lay larger but fewer eggs as they grow older
Just as how human reproduction is affected by age, normal chickens experience the same with their eggs.
Chicken feed is the most expensive part of owning chickens
A hen has to eat about four pounds of feed to make one dozen eggs.
Hens talk to their eggs…
… and they talk back! Hens are shown to communicate with their offspring in eggs, with the chicks eventually developing enough to respond from inside their eggs.
A chicken has an average of 8,325 feathers.
They have many many down feathers.
Chickens bathe by covering themselves in dirt
While this may seem contradictory, dirt is essential to helping chickens stay clean! Chickens have an oil gland on their back that is used to spread oil over their feathers to make them waterproof.
Chickens have a pecking order
The social structure of these flocks depends on a hierarchy called a pecking order, which is an order of dominance. All chickens know their place in this order, and it helps to maintain a stable, cohesive group.
Female chickens carry thousands of undeveloped yolks.
They will only lay a fraction of those eggs in their lifetime.
Eggshell color can be determined by the hen’s earlobe
It’s the color of the hen’s earlobes! Hens with red earlobes will lay brown eggs, and hens with white earlobes lay white eggs (with a few exceptions of course). Although the color of the eggs may differ, the nutritional content or flavor does not.
Chickens are very intelligent animals
Studies have shown that chickens are self-aware and can distinguish themselves from others. They learn from one another, such as a chick learning from her mother which foods are good to eat.
Ashley is a stay-at-home homeschooling mom, turned homesteader, living in Canada. I have been homeschooling for years and love it. Now my children and I get to learn about and help others homeschool and be able to provide for their families and teach our children about where their food comes from.