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Interesting Facts About Chickens

Last Updated: 02.07.22



In case you are looking for reviews of automatic chicken coop doors, but would also like to learn some interesting facts about chickens, you should know that they can see colors, they dream just like us and care for their young while fiercely defending them. Also, the discovery of the chicken genome revealed they are closely related to dinosaurs.

Chickens have been around for a long time, and they are also the most popular farm animals today. Many of us have seen chickens on free-range farms before, or in grandma’s backyard. Still, there are many things that we are still to find out about these fascinating creatures that have kept us fed and healthy since the dawn of time.

One fact I’m sure you didn’t know about is that chickens can distinguish and remember more than 100 faces of their own kind. This is more than most of us are able to remember, so whoever said elephants have the best memory on the planet was yet to meet chickens.

Chickens are known for forming pecking orders, meaning they have complex social structures, and each individual knows its place in the social ladder. They sure know who is the boss, and respect their social structure to the dot. 

Unlike many other animals, chickens have the ability to see colors – the entire color spectrum, no color blindness for them. This is a crucial fact for them, as their food choices are also based on the color of the food provided. They are mostly drawn by the color red, which also comes as a drawback in case of cannibalism. However, if you are trying to teach your baby chicks to eat from a new bowl, make sure it is a red one.

Just like us, chickens experience rapid eye movements during their sleep, which is a strong indicator that they experience dreams during their sleep. What could be cuter than a baby chick dreaming about the events of the day while safely sleeping under its momma’s feathers?


Amazing facts

Have you ever called someone a chicken? Well, it seems that was quite a compliment, as hens will fiercely defend their young against any predator, may it be large or small, and they usually win in this type of situations. Have you ever seen an angry hen? It’s scary!

Chickens communicate within the group and they have over thirty different vocalization types to distinguish between different types of threats. This only comes to prove how much these animals depend on their social skills for survival, or at least they used to before we started breeding them in large groups for feeding purposes.

Momma hens will start teaching their young the basic calls even before they hatch, just like human moms talk to their children when they are still in the womb. This comes to show that hens are complex beings that are adapted to preparing their young for the upcoming new times of their lives. Hens make great mothers.

A mother hen will turn each egg up to fifty times per day, every day, until three days before it hatches. She does so to prevent the embryo from becoming attached to the eggshell, which would cause it to stop developing and eventually die inside the egg. The hens stop turning the eggs in the nest precisely three days before they are due to hatch. 

Did you know that there are more chickens on Earth than any other bird species? Neither did we, and even more surprisingly, there are more chickens than humans too. Although this kind of makes sense, since we are the ones breeding them in large industrial farms, and not the other way around.

Chickens can not taste sweetness, but they do have the ability to taste saltiness, and they love it! They will eat anything salty. However, salt is one of the most harmful things you can feed a chicken, so it should be completely avoided. 



Surprising facts

Hens guide their egg-laying cycle based on the length of the day, meaning they guide themselves based on light. So, if you trick a hen by using artificial light into thinking that the day is 28 hours long, she will lay bigger and stronger eggs. However, this method should not be used frequently as it might cause fatigue to the hen.

A very long time ago, chickens were first domesticated for the use in cockfights. It was after that when people started using them for production purposes too and began to understand the great value these creatures were adding to their daily lives. Providing a family with daily eggs and occasional meat gave people constant food in their yards.

Most hens lay their eggs in the morning, starting at 6 all the way to 9 am. This is yet another trait left from when they lived as wild animals, because chickens spend most of the day out foraging for food, and the morning is the time of day they are most active. Also, some hens will also look after the eggs of other hens, or take turns in keeping them warm.

A rooster’s comb is a very good indicator of that bird’s health status and strong or weak genes. That’s why most hens will choose their mate based on the color, brightness, and looks of their comb. They do so to make sure they accept mating with healthy, strong roosters only. The old or weak roosters will not get a mate.

Have you ever noticed that chickens have three eyelids? The third one is see-through and it serves the purpose of keeping the eye protected while the chickens dig the ground for tasty worms, insects, or snails. Which brings us to the next surprising fact.

Chickens are omnivores, they eat insects, fresh greens, grass, fruits, vegetables, their own eggs if their nutritional requirements are not properly met, and they can even each other in extreme cases. Our point is, chickens eat everything, which helped them survive over the years, and adapt so well into our backyards.


Not so fun facts about chickens

Chickens have pain receptors in their nervous system, so just imagine what they must be going through being raised in industrial farms for financial reasons, and then going to the slaughterhouses where they are killed to provide food for us. Although technology has evolved a lot over the years, this is still not a fun fact about chickens.

They too can get stressed out, mainly due to improper housing conditions, and when they do, certain behaviors start to appear, such as plucking their own feathers. This is a type of behavioral abnormality associated with high stress levels in other birds too, and it is most commonly seen in caged – lonely birds that lack a normal social life.

On a worldwide average, ninety-seven chickens are killed every half a second to feed the world population, mainly in large cities across the world. This comes to show just how much we depend on these creatures, and on what we feed them with, because whatever they eat comes right back to feed us.



Interesting facts

The world record for most egg yolks in the same egg is of nine egg yolks. Of course, you will not see this happening very often, but two-yolked eggs are quite common, especially in larger sized eggs. There are some egg-laying breeds that will very often lay eggs that have two yolks inside. This also depends on the individual hen. Some hens lay this type of eggs as a part of their genetic heritage.

If you ever see a chicken taking dust baths you should know this is the way they clean themselves, as opposed to humans that see dust as dirt and use clean water to clean their bodies. There are some tribes in Africa that lack water and that use a special type of smoke to clean their bodies.

It was in 2004 that scientists discovered that chickens were the closest living relatives to the dinosaurs, particularly to the Tyrannosaurus rex, and they found that out by discovering similarities in the chicken’s DNA after they had the genome sequenced.

Chickens are able to run at speeds of up to 9 miles per hour, making them quite fast for their size. Truth be told, you do not want an angry rooster chasing you in the yard – the odds of you outrunning him are quite slim, and their beaks are very strong.




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