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facts about chickens

Chickens are domestic or farm birds. The live span of a chicken is about 10 to 15 years. The male is larger and more brightly colored than the female. This is common feature in birds. The males show off their colorful feathers to attract the females.

A chicken has a comb on the head and two wattles under the neck. The male has a larger comb compared to the female. The male is called a rooster. The female is called a hen while the young are called chicks. The female is usually ready to lay her first eggs when she is around six months old.

The morning call your hear on the farm every morning is actually the rooster crowing "cock-a-doodle-doo". The female is called a hen and she goes "cluck-cluck". The young are called chicks and they go "chick-chick".

What do chickens eat?

Chickens eat worms, insects, seeds, grains, snails, slugs, fruits, vegetables and many other foods. The gizzard which is a part of the stomach contains tiny stones to help grind up the food.

Who are the chicken's enemies? Animals like the hawks, bobcats, snakes, skunks, owls, raccoons, foxes and opposums prey on chickens.

Breeds of chickens

There are approximatelty 175 varieties of chickens. They are grouped into 12 classes and approximately 60 breeds based on geographical areas : - Asiatic, American, Continental, English, Mediterranean
See below for some of the different breeds :
•Bantams. These are miniature chicken breeds.
•Plymouth Rock. Originated in the United States.
•Marans. They are small breeds preferred for their eggs rather than meat.
•Leghorns. Most popular commercial breed. Usually white in color.
•Rhode Island Red Chicken. This is a very popular breed of chicken. Usually raised for their meat and eggs and sometimes as show birds.

Life-Cycle of a chicken

The hen does not need a rooster to lay eggs. However, the eggs will not hatch because they are not fertilized. Chicken eggs come in different colors like white, brown, blue or bluish green and pink. The unique blue eggs come from the Araucana breed, from South America. Most chickens will stop laying eggs when the weather is cold. They will start laying when it gets warmer again.

How long does it take for a chicken egg to hatch?

A hen lays an average of 300 eggs per year. The hen will sit on her eggs to keep them warm so that they will hatch into chicks. A fertilized egg starts developing into a chicken when its temperature reaches 86 degrees farenheight. A chicken takes 21 days to hatch.

 
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