Category Archives: Chicken Facts

Chicken Keeping: A Time-Honored Tradition

Chicken Keeping: A Time-Honored Tradition

Chicken keeping has a long and successful history, dating back to antiquity. Some 19th century writers would have their readers believe that prior to the Victorian era poultry breeding was not a specialized occupation. It was certainly elevated in status once poultry shows began awarding prizes for quality and for new breeds, but the number… Read More »

What’s the Difference Between a Barred Rock and a Dominique?

What’s the Difference Between a Barred Rock and a Dominique?

A lot of chicken keepers who are unfamiliar with both barred Rocks and Dominiques have trouble telling the difference between them. Once you’ve seen both, though, you’ll have no trouble readily identifying which is which.   First let’s get one thing straight: “Barred Rock” is not a breed. The breed is Plymouth Rock. The original… Read More »

Which Chicken Breed Looks Like a Hawk?

Which Chicken Breed Looks Like a Hawk?

With their large, hawk-like eyes, flattish head profile, downward turning beaks and striking feather patterns, Easter Egger chickens are often described as looking like hawks. Easter Eggers are related to Ameraucanas, which also have a somewhat hawk-like appearance.   Easter Eggers are not considered to be a true breed, because they lack uniform conformation and… Read More »

Olive Egger Chickens: 6 Questions Answered

Olive Egger Chickens: 6 Questions Answered

Chicken eggs in the United States were once available in two basic shell colors — unimaginative white and traditional farmstead brown. Along with the ongoing boom in backyard chicken flocks comes an interest in eggs with shells in a wider array of colors, including pink, blue and green. One of the most startling colors is… Read More »

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

The earliest record of anyone asking “Why did the chicken cross the road?” appeared in 1847, in a monthly New York magazine called The Knickerbocker.  The answer, as printed in the magazine: “Because it wanted to get to the other side.”   Since then, the question has spawned an infinite number of variations, and even… Read More »

Why Do Chickens Wipe Their Beaks?

Why Do Chickens Wipe Their Beaks?

The easy answer to the question “Why do chickens wipe their beaks?” is because they’re birds. Beak wiping involves rapidly scraping alternating sides of the beak on the ground or other surface. It’s an important activity for all birds, except maybe waterfowl.   But why they do it remains something of a mystery, even to… Read More »

Do Roosters Have a Penis?

Do Roosters Have a Penis?

Like the males of 97 percent of all bird species, a rooster does not have a penis. An incubated egg that will become a rooster starts to develop a penis, but early in the second week of embryonic development, a cell death protein called Bmp4 cloaks the incipient penis, causing it to stop developing and… Read More »

Dust Bathing Chickens Get Dirty to Get Clean

Dust Bathing Chickens Get Dirty to Get Clean

If you’ve never seen a chicken dust bathing, the sight can give you quite a shock. Lying in the dirt while vigorously twitching its feet and flopping its wings, the chicken first looks like it’s having an uncontrollable fit. Then it lies perfectly still in the hole it just dug, looking like death itself. Go… Read More »

20 Weird and Wonderful Facts about Chickens

20 Weird and Wonderful Facts about Chickens

Chickens are endlessly fascinating. The more time you spend with them, the more you discover how intensely complex these creatures are. Here are 20 weird and wonderful facts about chickens:       If all the chickens on earth were evenly distributed among all the people on earth, each person would have at least 3… Read More »

Broiler Chickens Infographic

Click on the image to enlarge In the United States, approximately 9 billion chickens are raised for their meat each year! About 25,000 family farmers have production contracts with the broiler chicken companies. Approximately 95% of broiler chickens are produced on these farms while only 5% are raised on company-owned farms. The U.S.A. has the… Read More »