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Chicken Facts

Size 15-24 in (40-60 cm)
Speed Up to 9 mph (while running)
Weight 9-12 lbs (4-5.5 kg)
Lifespan 5-10 years
Food Grains, seeds, grass, worms, snails, insects
Predators Crows, birds of prey, foxes, martens, raccoons
Habitat Worldwide
Order Galliformes
Family Phasianidae
Scientific name Gallus gallus domesticus
Characteristics Comb on its head; wattle under its beak

Main Characteristics

Chicken are birds that belong to the phasianidae familiy, which includes phaesants, partridges, junglefowls, turkeys, quails and peafowls. Males are called roosters and females hens.

Chicken Photo: Jakkrit Phomwong/Shutterstock

Author NaimaEvolution

Domestic chickens developed from the red junglefowl. This bird lives in the jungles of South-East Asia. Around 4,000 years ago, people in the jungles of South-East Asia began to keep red junglefowls as a food source.


Rooster Photo: Bosko/Shutterstock


There are now around 200 different chicken breeds, bred for different purposes. Some breeds lay a lot of eggs, others grow quickly and are used for meat, and others just look nice.

Fledgling Photo: PCHT/Shutterstock


From Egg to Chicken

The number of eggs a hen lays varies according to her breed. She will then incubate them for 21 days. At the beginning, the eggs are turned several times a day. The egg then stays still for the last two or three days. The chick opens the eggshell with its egg tooth (the “tooth” on its beak). The chick can walk from the moment it hatches.

Do Brown Hens Lay Brown Eggs?

Do brown chickens lay brown eggs? No, that’s a myth. If this was true, black and white chickens would lay black and white eggs. The color of the egg depends on the breed, not the coloring. The Araucana chicken, for example, lays green eggs.


Chicken Eggs Photo: Lungkit/Shutterstock

Chicken Farming

Male Chicken

We’ve all been there: you go into a fast food restaurant and order a portion of chicken nuggets. What’s this tasty snack made from? Happy chickens that were killed after a long, happy life? No! Quite the opposite. Most of these chickens only lived for a short time, and never even saw the sun. Male chicks are sorted, suffocated and used to make nuggets and similar products.

This fact sheet was submitted by fan Naima. Thanks for your amazing article!

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