The more I find myself becoming obsessed with chickens, the more I crave to know the bizarre facts about them. No matter how long I've owned chickens for, I never can know too much and I always want to know more about them. They are, without a doubt, some very interesting animals worthy of appreciation! While not all information may be new to you, likely at least one fact will be!
- Before hatching, a chick will absorb the yolk of the egg as a first food source
- A chick will start peeping at other developing eggs to encourage them to hatch too
- A chick begins development at 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius)
- Some chicks (the Sex-Link breeds) are able to be sexed due to coloration
- "Loner" chicks will enjoy yours, a stuffed animal, or mirror's presence
- A chick uses a special formation at the tip of their beak, called an egg tooth, to hatch from the egg
- Chicks require a source of heat to help maintain their body temperature
- Chicks are even known to dust bathe!
- Chickens have a wide array of visible colors- even more than people!
- They experience REM sleep, meaning that they dream like we do
- They are able to distinguish and recognize more than 100 faces
- They have pain receptors, so they can feel pain and stress
- Over 30 vocalizations are used to warn other chickens of predators
- Chickens can't taste sweetness, but they can taste salt
- Mother hens will cluck to the unhatched chicks so that the chicks can recognize her voice after they've hatched
- While chickens typically only live up to 10 years, some have lived into their 20s
- A chicken's heart beats at over 300 beats per minute!
- Chickens have no stomach; they have organs to store, add digestive enzymes to the food, and grind it up
- They have no throat muscles
- The comb and wattles help to regulate body temperature
- Some chickens will have up to 5 toes on one foot
- The Ayam Cemani breed of chicken is nearly entirely black- its feathers, comb, wattles, skin, meat, organs, bones, etc. are black (but the blood is not black)!
- One purpose of a rooster crowing is to tell predators that the flock survived through the night
- Chickens are about 75% water
- A chicken reaches the mental state of about a 2 year old
- Chickens preen to distribute their natural oils all over their feathers and to keep their feathers orderly
- A chicken actually has more bones in their neck than a giraffe!
- An egg is about 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 degrees Celsius) after it is laid
- Eggs remain nutritionally similar regardless of shell color
- One egg had 9 yolks- a record!
- Eggs are laid with a "bloom" around them. The bloom keeps bacteria out of the egg, but allows air to get in.
- There are a number of egg abnormalities, usually of no reason for concern
- As the hen ages, her eggs typically get bigger
- The time it takes for a hen to produce one egg is about 25 hours
- It takes 14-16 hours of sunlight for a hen to produce an egg
- The egg comes out of the same place the waste does (the cloaca), however the opening from the large intestine to the cloaca is temporarily blocked in order for the egg to be laid
- Roosters are not needed for the production of eggs, only the fertilization
- It is believed that a hen has all her ova in her body at the time of her hatching
- It takes over 4 pounds of food to make one dozen eggs!
- If a hen does not get enough calcium to produce her eggs, her body will start to take calcium from her bones
- If an egg floats in water, it is not safe to eat. If an egg sinks in water, it is safe to eat.