Is Chicken a Real Animal?

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While there are many domesticated animals, one of the most common animal that comes to mind is a chicken. Domestic chickens are commonly farmed for meat production and factory farms mainly keep mothers for the egg production. 

As a common farm bird, it is said that there are more chickens in the world compared to any other. Not only that, there are more chickens in this world than human beings!

An interesting fact about chicken is that there are around 9.22 billion chickens in the USA. Their meat is widely famous for quick protein, and white and dark fibers. 

Unlike meat/mutton and lamb/goat, chicken is a common name for both the meat as well as the animal.

10 crazy chicken facts

What is the chicken scientific name?

The scientific name of a domesticated chicken is Gallus Gallus Domesticus. They evolved from a wild species of chicken called Red junglefowl. They are also closely related to wild chickens such as Grey junglefowl (gallus sonneratii) and Ceylon junglefowl (gallus lafayettii).

These fowls originated from Southeastern Asia. Due to selective breeding and factory farming, there are many different breeds of chicken all around the world.

Chickens were mainly domesticated for cockfighting. Some common domestic fowl found in the USA include-

  • Rhode Island Red
  • Brahma Chicken
  • Plymouth Rock Chicken
  • Rhode Island White
  • Jersey Giant
  • Wyandotte Chicken
  • Buckeye Chicken
  • New Hampshire Red
  • Delaware Chicken
  • Java Chicken
  • Lamona
  • Iowa Blue
  • Dominique Chicken

Rooster animal: is it called a chicken?

Rooster is the term for adult male chickens. On the other hand, a young male chicken is called a cockerel. 

These male birds, depending on the breed, are larger and more vividly colored. They also have a voluminous plumage.

One of the most common behaviors in a flock of chicken is that they have a pecking order. The dominant male chicken pecks other chickens that is lower than him in the hierarchy and accepts pecking from another chicken higher on the scale.

Is a female cockerel called a chicken?

No, a Cockerel is a younger male chicken. Capon, on the other hand, is a castrated male. A matured or adult female chickens are called Hens. A Pullet is a sexually immature female.

Typically, farm owners tend to rear only female chickens because of their docile nature. Roosters are more aggressive and tend to get into cockfights which can disrupt the environment.

Young male chickens are called cockerels
Cockerel are young male chickens

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Are all female fowl called chickens?

Fowls, in general, is a term for all chickens, both male and female. Hence, while all female fowls are chickens, not all chickens are female fowls.

Chickens are said to be gregarious birds. They are social animals that thrive on social interaction with their peers in a flock as well as humans.

All chickens have two wings, two legs, and two wattles. The wattle size depends on the type of breed and sex of the chicken.

What is a baby chicken is called?

A baby chicken is called a chick. Unlike fully grown chickens across different breeds, chicks tend to have the same physically attributes (other than color) when they hatch.

Chicks also imprint on their mother the first thing after hatching. Recent studies show that the broody hen also talks to their young one before they hatch. 

This is why chicks know the difference between their mother and other hens in the chicken coop. Another fun fact is that chickens have a sense of object permanence!

Baby chicks huddle together for the first two months without their mother. They slowly learn to perch without their siblings and transition into adulthood.

Baby chicken chicks
Few people can resist a fluffy baby chicken

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When does a female chicken start laying eggs?

Female chickens, also known as hens, start laying eggs around 22 weeks after hatching. This is provided that they receive adequate nutrition, activity time, and housing.

Depending on the breed, the color of their eggs can be white or a shade of brown. Wild species of chicken can also have eggs of different colors.

Another way to determine the color of a specific hen’s egg is to match it with the color of their earlobe. While brown egg cost more than regular white chicken eggs, the nutritional value of both are almost the same.

Also, the largest egg ever recorded weighs around 12 oz. and it contained two yolks!

As modern chickens are hybrid animals created from various wild species of fowl, the modern day poultries can reduce this time. They have optimized the breed to be able to produce and sell more eggs.

Chicken embryo is also one of the easiest embryo to study and conduct tests on. 

A broody hen will incubate their eggs for almost 24 hours, rarely leaving her eggs unattended. This can last upto 20-21 days until the eggs hatch.

The hen also turns the eggs regularly to maintain the humidity and temperature. Hens do not need a rooster to lay eggs; they can lay upto 240 eggs in a year without one!

What are the characteristics of chicken compared to rooster?

Three months after hatching, the physical attributes of a chicken and rooster are visually clear. While hens tend to have simple and mellow feathers with yellow legs, the rooster may have more brightly colored plumage and prominent wattles.

The color of the bird completely depends on their breed and sex.

On the behavioral side, roosters tend to be more aggressive. Hens are more social animals and warm up to their care takers.

The heartbeat of chickens is also relatively fast. A rooster’s heart beats about 286 times a minute whereas in a hen the number is 312 BPM.

Roosters are considered difficult to grow due to their aggressive behavior. A main concern for animal welfare groups is that roosters are killed off at a young age to avoid having to deal with them.

Roosters are also considered the protectors of their flocks. They keep their offsprings and the mother hens of their flocks safe. 

FAQ relating to Is chicken a real animal

Originally, the term chicken was coined only for a young bird. Chicken as a species were also called domestic fowl.

As one of the most sought out farm animals, they are quite gregarious and smart birds. They have the ability to memorize, dream, and show immense problem solving skills.

The bird can also memorize around 100 faces, now that’s a lot! Recent studies also claim that chickens and chicks dream like humans.

Wild species of chicken can live up to ten years. This life span gets cut down in case of broiler and modern chickens. This is because they are mainly farmed for their eggs and meat.

Chickens are domesticated to the point that they are found on every continent except Antarctica.

Chickens are easily domesticated as long as they are fed well
Contrary to popular belief, chickens are quite smart

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Is chicken a real bird?

Yes, chicken is a real bird. Their main physical characteristics include a comb and two wattles. These are more prominent in the roosters, also known as male chickens.

Roosters also display a crowing behavior. The ‘crowing’ is a loud shrill sound that roosters vocalize to warn off other dominant males in their area. They also vocalize to ward off dominant males from other flocks.

Chickens have over 30 sounds that they make to communicate with each other. In fact, chicks can identify their mother from the flock by simply the sound of her clucks!

They were bred from gray jungle fowl and red jungle fowl and other wild chickens. The main reason for breeding these birds was for the use of cock-fighting.

What animal made chicken?

Many evolutionary biologists agree that the modern day domesticated chickens had Red Junglefowl as their evolutionary predecessor or ancestors. The scientific name of these birds is gallus gallus.

These birds are mainly found in the South East Asia. They live in lush fields and jungles near good sources of food.

Is a chicken a bird or an animal?

A chicken is a land animal.

It is a bird and it belongs to Phasianidae family. They have light and hollow bones, wings, and feathers.

These birds also have around 13 air sacs in their body, making it lighter. 

Chickens are omnivores and tend to eat anything from small lizards, mice, and worms to seeds, leaves, and rice. 

Additionally, while chickens are flightless birds, they can glide or fly short distance when needed. They have been observed gliding up to 9 feets over gates and fences.

Chickens also do not need much space to live. This is why chicken coops usually have smaller enclosures with less space for each chicken.

Is chicken a dinosaur?

Chickens have evolved from dinosaurs. Recent studies show that when collagen from a T Rex underwent DNA analysis, it showed that the DNA was very similar to that of chicken.

There are also other similarities between a chicken and ancient dinosaurs, specifically the T-Rex These include feathers and bone structure.

You can notice the similarity when you see a chicken run! You will see a mirroring image between Jurassic Park’s beloved and a friendly coop resident.

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