Category Archives: Chicken Facts

Why Does a Rooster Have Wattles?

Why Does a Rooster Have Wattles?

A rooster’s wattles come in flexible pairs that dangle beneath the beak, while its comb is a single structure prominently affixed to the top of the head. Researchers have determined that hens base their choice of mates, in part, on characteristics of the comb. But when it comes to wattles, they scratch their scholarly heads… Continue Reading

The Origin of Modern Chickens

The Origin of Modern Chickens

Since the 1800s humans have believed chickens were domesticated from red jungle fowl of Southeast Asia. The main reasons for this assumption are that red jungle fowl (pictured above) look similar and can interbreed with modern chickens. However, we had no real proof of the origin of modern chickens until the advent of gene sequencing.… Continue Reading

Difference Between Production Chickens and Show Chickens

Difference Between Production Chickens and Show Chickens

Production chickens are efficient producers of eggs or meat. “Efficient” means outputs are maximized, while inputs are minimized. In other words, production chickens are bred to produce more eggs or meat while eating less feed. The main difference between production chickens and show chickens is that efficient production is not a consideration in breeds developed… Continue Reading

What Is a Strain of Chickens?

What Is a Strain of Chickens?

A strain, also called a bloodline or simply a line, is a family of related chickens. They are distinctive in having been selectively bred by a single person or organization long enough for all the chickens to be uniquely uniform in some way. Each strain of purebred chickens has all the traits that define its… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading