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Chicken Facts

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.

    Have you ever seen a chicken laying an egg? Well, this video clips shows a chicken laying an egg very clearly.
    Click here to watch the video

    Chickens by Oklahoma State University Board of Regents
    Different breeds and description of each breed. Very good site.

    Pure Breeds of Traditional Utility Poultry
    Different breeds and short description of each breed.

    Prairie Chickens and the Prairie in Illinois
    Take a look at this very interesting classroom project by 3rd and 4th Grade Classrooms

    IACUC Learning Module - Poultry
    POULTRY (Chickens and Turkeys) "Take-Home" module

    Broiler Chickens
    Information Sheet

    How do Chickens Balance?
    An interesting question and answers given.

    How to Have Eggsceptional Laying Hens
    Answers to all your questions.

    Chickscope Embryology: The 21-day Chick Lifecycle
    Illustrated stages of the egg from embryo to chick. Very good site.

    4-H Embryology
    Photos of a chick hatching. Very good site. Must see. Watch video clips. Very good site.

    Museum of Science and Industry : Chick Hatchery
    Watch a video clip of a chick hatching. Good. Very good site.

    Chickscope EggMath: The Shape of an Egg
    Learn about the oval shape in detail

    Sci4Kids - Going Coo Coo for Chicken
    Interesting facts about chicken feathers what they can be used for.

    The Coop : The online poulty community
    Talk with others

    Raising Chickens is Easy with a Henspa or Henhaven
    The Henspa is a complete chicken coop system designed to eliminate mess, make feeding and watering a snap and provide you with up to 10 eggs a day from up to 10 hens


    Going coo coo for Chicken
    Questionaires - worksheets and what chicken by-products can be used for. Pdf format available there too.


    All About Chickens
    Facts, ideas, printables and more. Good site.

    Embroyology in the classroom
    Teachers' Resources. Good site.

    Egg & Chick Theme Page
    Activities, ideas, links and printables.

    From Egg to Chick
    Raising chicks and activities for the classroom with eggs

    From Egg to Chicken
    This is a cross curricular thematic unit on chick embryology and egg production. It will take the students through the lifecycle of a chicken and more.

    The Topic: Eggs
    Everything about eggs. Links to Lesson Plans and more.

    The Little Red Hen Crafts and Lesson Plan Printable Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten
    Good site.

    Life Cycle of a Chicken Poster
    Free colorful printables for the preschool classroom


    Free Stuff Animations
    Chicken animations
    Chickens - Hen standing - Free Bird Clipart
    Hen on nest clipart
    Hen on nest clipart


    John's Chicken Activities
    Ideas for games and more from a Master Teacher in pdf format.

    Egg Fun
    Recommended Age Groups: early or later Elementary


    Chicken Dance Song
    Original lyrics. Sing along with the music format.

    Lyrics to kids songs format.

    Hickety, Pickety, My Black Hen
    Rhebus Rhyme

    Songs, Rhymes, Stories, Activities, Crafts - eggs.


    Eggshell Mosaic. Age : 5 +
    Hatch a chick
    String eggs. Age 5+
    Claypot chick. Age 3-5


    The Adventures of Ready Rooster
    Story coloring book about safety on the farm. Very nice.
    The Further Adventures of Ready Rooster
    Story coloring book about safety on the farm. Very nice.


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