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Chickens: facts and info
Interesting facts about chickens and eggs

CHICKENS: Interesting facts about chickens

pullet hen

Instructions for teachers

  1. A young chicken is called a chick.

  2. Males are called cocks (Br. Eng.) or roosters (Am. Eng.).

  3. Females are called hens.

  4. Males younger than 12 months are called cockerels.

  5. Females younger than twelve months are called pullets.

  6. Castrated males are called capons.

  7. There are more than 24 billion chickens in the world - more than any other bird species

  8. It takes 21 days for a chick to hatch from an egg.

  9. Chickens can live for between 5 and 10 years, depending on their breed.

  10. In the wild, chickens eat seeds, insects, lizards and small mice.

  11. The oldest hen on record lived until the age of 16.

  12. The fleshy crest on the head of a chicken is called a comb.

  13. The hanging flap of skin on each side under the beak is called a wattle (plural caruncles).

  14. Both males and females have wattles and combs but in most breeds they are more prominent in males.

  15. Chickens cannot fly long distances but can fly very short distances if they think they are in danger.

  16. An egg without a yolk is called a dwarf, wind or fart egg.

  17. The egg-production process begins when light stimulates a photosensitive gland near the hen's eyes: when the gland is stimulated an ovum is released.

  18. Hens have one functional ovary.

  19. Hens generally lay an egg a day for six days and then rest for one day.

  20. Hens start laying eggs when they are 4 to 5 months old.

  21. The smallest ever egg laid by a hen weighed just 7.3g and was the size of a coin.

  22. As hens grow older, they lay fewer eggs but the eggs become larger in size.

  23. The average hen lays on average 300 eggs a year.

  24. When female chicks hatch, they have 4000 tiny ova. As the hen matures, some of these will become yolks and then eggs.

  25. It takes around 25 hours for the egg to form.

  26. The process by which eggs are formed is like a conveyor belt in a factory: at any one time, there are a number of yolks at different stages of development

  27. Eggs can have multiple yolks. The record for the number of yolks found in one egg is nine.

  28. The largest ever hen egg was laid in 1896. It had five yolks and weighed 340g.

  29. It is possible for a hen to lay an egg with a fully formed egg inside it.

Instructions for teachers

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