As flock owners, there should be a lot of things you would know about chickens. Whether it may be the first-hand discovery, something read on the internet, or a piece of information relayed by a friend. Still, there are tons to know about chickens, especially if someone is new in the flock world. Here are 20 fun facts about chickens.
Chickens and Their Fun Personalities
Chickens are always fun to be with. This is one of the reasons why flock owners keep doing what they are doing. Despite being animals that are mostly kept for meat and eggs, chickens have personalities! Some can be bland, and some are fun and endearing. Like humans, it depends on the individual. In short, not all chickens are the same when it comes to their attitudes and outlook.
Owners who have spent a reasonable amount of time with their flocks can conclude how chickens behave. It seems like they are more complex than what humans think of them. Aside from their survival skills and inherent behaviors as chickens, they also are capable of so many things like emotions, communication, and many more.
Chickens also have their way of completing their tasks through mental activity and function. They are also able to learn from each other. In short, they are creatures who can strive to become better chickens.
If you don’t know yet, chickens are also good at comprehending cause-and-effect relationships. Like most pets, it’s practical to demonstrate these causes and effects of a specific action. This way, you can train your pets to act a certain way when presented with a particular situation.
Contrary to some stereotypical definitions for chickens, they are intelligent creatures. There are a lot of animals that can be tricked whenever you hide something from their view. Well, chickens are creatures that are very much aware that an object can exist even without them seeing it.
A lot of owners have their hearts warm when their chickens approach them to get attention. Some chickens like being interacted with by their humans. Some chickens can be jealous, and some are unique and possess crazy personalities too! There’s no limit to their characters, just like how humans are: diverse and unique.
20 Fun Facts About Chickens
1. They are Omnivores. It may seem like something new to those who do not know. But once you know, you can realize that it has been like that for a long time. It’s like a eureka moment. They eat almost any kind of meat, especially the insides or carcasses. Chickens also love fruits and vegetables.
2. Chickens have good Color Vision. It has been a misconception how chickens are said to have poor vision. In reality, they have even better vision than humans! This is why they also care about how food looks more than any other food quality you give them.
3. Chickens do not sweat. Feathers act like their built-in cooler. Chickens are proven to be more cold-hardy than hot-hardy. When chickens feel hot, they pant rather than sweat.
4. Chickens out populate humans. There are more chickens in the world than humans.
5. Chickens can recognize their keepers. A cute fact about chickens is that they can know you and recognize you. This is one of the reasons why chickens are very cautious of strangers, and they tend to opt-in walking away or avoiding any contact with unfamiliar people. On the other hand, they are calm when it’s someone they “know.”
6. Chickens can recognize over 100 faces! They have a pretty good memory and can identify a lot of things.
7. Chickens have dreams when they sleep too. They experience rapid eye movement (REM) while they sleep, a phase of slumber that indicates a creature is dreaming.
8. They are technically descendants of one of the most enormous creatures to have lived on Earth. They have evolved from the giants, dinosaurs themselves! If you observe them closely, their movements mirror some of their ancestors!
9. Chickens can teach each other. This is how mothers teach their chicks. Mothers teach their children how to forage, what’s safe to eat and what’s wrong, even where to find food! Chickens also know how to spot the food that’s bad for them.
10. They know who’s the Alpha or the boss. Chickens have their social class. They form their structure called “pecking order.” This means that they know where their place is in the order or the specific case.
More Fun Facts About Chickens
11. Chickens are capable of empathy. The connection between a hen and their chicks is quite strong, and so when the babies get sad or distressed, hens get distressed too.
12. They are good at taking care and nurturing. Chickens are affectionate and are usually very good at taking care of their youngsters. Another thing is that they get along well with the chickens in the same space.
13. In mating, hens choose their rooster suitors too! They pick their mates by the color and size of the rooster’s comb.
14. Some people perceive or believe that egg nutritional values depend on the color of the eggs. This is a misconception about chicken eggs! The nutritional value for each egg is the same regardless of the color of both the yolk and the whites.
15. Hens can be very sexually active. Thus, they are capable of mating with more than one rooster at once.
16. Beaks bleed! Yes, beaks can bleed. Most of the time, this situation happens mostly during trimmings.
17. Chickens have a lot of water in their bodies. They have at least 15% more water than those levels humans have. Considering that chickens are easily dehydrated, they need to drink ample water to survive every day.
18. Two yolks in one egg? There’s more to that! The record for the most number of egg yolks for an egg is nine yolks in one egg! Amazing.
19. They are fast runners! Depending on the breed, the average speed of a chicken is 1 mile per 6 minutes or nine miles per hour.
20. Chickens have dust baths. They like to dig small bathtubs on the ground and burrow themselves there. This helps in managing the oil in their feathers.
Chickens are amusing birds. They are more than the animals people raise for food or eggs. They have individuality despite their numbers. Indeed, these birds are exciting animals that humans still have a lot to learn about. Knowing these simple and complex things allows people to understand them more and interact with them more freely.
Chicken Behaviors and Processes
Chickens have distinct processes and behaviors that separate them from other creatures. One thing about chickens is their ability to communicate well.
Chickens have estimated 24 distinct noises. These noises are their ways of communication to alarm other chickens when there’s an alarming situation happening in the air and ground. Roosters even court using a different type of noise, inviting hens and the flock to share food.
Tidbitting is one of the body languages incorporated by clucking noises done by chickens to signal that they have something interesting at their grasp. This sound and action signal the rest of the flocks to approach and check out what they have.
Chickens and Their Sex Life
As mentioned earlier, roosters use the tidbitting action and clucking noises to attract hens and perhaps spend an intimate time with her. Chickens are pretty picky and have high standards when it comes to mating. Hens usually prefer the rooster with the best features. In short, chickens value looks too.
Chickens also have a way of grooming themselves. When you spot chickens running their beaks through their feathers, they preen and take care of their looks.
Teaching and nurturing
Chickens are very much caring for their children. They are very good at nurturing their young. Hens also use Tidbitting to teach their babies which food is not suitable and safe to consume.
Dangers and Alarms
Clucking is the primary way chickens communicate and express themselves. They can share how far, big, dangerous, and fast the approaching predator/threat is.
The way they communicate dangers and good food with each other shows how much chickens value their connection with their flock. Chickens have a perfect sense of togetherness with their group. They rely upon and help each other survive.
As mentioned earlier, chickens have a social structure that decides or segregates them into smaller groups, just like how the caste system and social class system works in human communities and organizations. They have their unique way of establishing these roles and ranks. For example, a hen can be able to identify who belongs in what order based on who is pecking the
Chickens are more than the seemingly ordinary creatures raised for food. There are still more things to learn about them. These things usually open up their minds and head to the complexities of chickens even more. Knowing 20 fun facts about chickens takes people one step closer to understanding and learning more about them.
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch.