19 Interesting Facts about Chickens
Chickens are quite interesting birds. These 19 chicken facts may surprise you, as you may have an image about what chickens are or how they behave. However, learning the facts about chickens can make them quite interesting.
From their origins to their behavior in flocks, learning these facts can help you raise chickens, understand your lovely ladies, and keep them happy!
- Chickens dream, experiencing REM during sleep.
- Chickens have great eyesight, and full-color vision like humans.
- They’re pretty smart creatures. According to the BBC, chickens show mathematical reasoning, self-control, and form complex social structures.
- The origin of chickens is a bit surprising. Chickens come from tropical rainforests, evolving for millions of years before becoming the farm animals we know today.
- According to the Smithsonian, chickens are one of the closest living relatives to the famed T. Rex.
- The United Nations estimates there are about 25 billion chickens in the world! The World Atlas puts the estimate at 19 billion, but still a lot more chickens than humans.
- Chickens have pretty good memories. They can recognize over 100 different humans and remember their faces.
- Mother hens talk to their chicks when they are still in the egg, soothing them with their voice.
- Some breeds of chicken can lay over 300 eggs a year. That’s roughly an egg every 29 hours!
- Chickens love to play. They run, jump, play with other animals, and love being outside.
- They often clean themselves with “dust baths,” rubbing dust or dirt over their feathers. this helps keep parasites and mites away, and helps the feathers retain their insulation.
- The light of the day dictates how often hens lay eggs. During different times of year, chickens will lay different amounts and sizes. So don’t be too concerned if your hen is not laying in the winter!
- Chickens can be as small as a couple of pounds (bantam breeds), or up to ten pounds in some of the larger breeds.
- Chickens are omnivores. They eat seeds and plants, but will also eat insects, lizards, and small rodents.
- Chickens can feel pain and stress. So imagine the experience of laying an egg, going for slaughter, or moving!
- Mother hens often turn their eggs over fifty times in a day to keep every part warm.
- Hens lay the most eggs in their first year after reaching maturity. As they age, they lay less often, but will lay bigger eggs.
- They love to chat. With over thirty types of vocalization, they can communicate quite effectively with one another.
- Chickens are pretty quick. They can run up to 10 mph, usually when being chased by a predator.