Chicken Facts

Unique Chicken Trivia: 41 Fun Facts About Your Favorite Fowl

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Chickens are interesting birds who are full of surprises. We’ve compiled a listing of interesting facts about chickens, some of which are quite startling.

Random Chicken Facts

  • Chickens are descendants of dinosaurs and are the closest living relatives to the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
  • Chickens experience rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and dream in color as humans do.
  • There are more than 25 billion chickens are in the world, making them more plentiful than humans by a factor of almost 4.
  • In 2004, the chicken was the first bird to have its genome sequenced.
  • Hens can lay over 300 eggs per year.

When people are afraid of chickens, the phobia is called alektorophobia.

  • Over half a billion hens are used for egg production in the world.
  • In 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that over 90 billion eggs are produced in the United States alone.
  • Chickens lay eggs at 105 degrees Fahrenheit (or 40 degrees Celcius).
  • Chickens have been farmed by humans for over 8,000 years.
  • Americans eat over 8 billion chickens per year.
  • Americans eat more chicken per year than they do meat from cows.
  • Chickens are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and plants.
  • Chickens can taste salt but not sugar, but they avoid both.
  • Per pound, Australians eat on average per year more chicken than Americans – 205 lbs. to 201 lbs., making it the country that consumes the most chicken per capita.
  • Chickens lose feathers when they’re stressed, in much the same way we lose hair when we’re stressed!
  • In South Korea alone, there are more chicken restaurants than there are McDonald’s in the entire world!
  • Over 50 billion chickens are born every year!

A chicken’s heart rate can be over 350 beats per minute!

  • Chickenpox has nothing to do with the chicken.
  • Chickens can live without a head for a long time; check out Mike The Headless Chicken, who lived for 18 months without a head!
  • A chicken can run at speeds up to 9 mph. A headless chicken can run the length of a football field before dropping dead as long as there is no damage to the brain stem!
Brown and black rooster walking on grass
  • Mother hens turn their eggs roughly 50 times per day to prevent the yolk from sticking to the shell.
  • Chickens live together as a flock and have a communal approach to the incubation of eggs and raising of their young.
  • Chickens with red earlobes lay brown eggs and those with white earlobes lay white eggs.
  • Chickens form complex social structures known as “pecking orders” and every chicken knows his or her place on the social ladder.
  • The chicken is an extremely clean animal in its natural environment and preens its feathers every day.
  • A baby chick’s life starts in a fertilized egg, which the mother hen sits on for 21 days.
Brown chick beside person standing
  • The egg yolk (the yellow) has all the food the chick needs while it grows inside the egg. The egg white supplies the chick with water.
  • Chicks hatch by pecking a hole in their shell with a bump using its beak, which is called an egg tooth. The egg tooth falls off a few days letter.
  • Female chicks are called pullets. Male chicks are called cockerels.
  • Baby chicks grow fast. By 20 weeks (5 months) they will be hens or roosters.
  • Chickens can kill a snake!
  • Chickens can recognize each other.
  • Hens are great mothers. They are brave and protective of their young.
Chicken chicks
  • Chickens can do math! A study showed that chicks can add and subtract using numbers smaller than five.
  • Chickens learn from each other!
  • 97 chickens are killed every 0.05 seconds!
  • The world record for egg yolks in one egg is 9 yolks.
  • Chickens were domesticated around 8,000 years ago in Southern China.
  • As chickens become older, they lay bigger eggs.
  • Mother-hens teach their chicks what to eat and what to avoid.
  • Chickens were initially domesticated for cockfighting.

Chicken Nutrition Facts

The average chicken breast has approximately 300 calories, 50 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fat. It’s a low-fat source of protein that contains no carbohydrates.

"People talk about fools counting chickens before they hatch. That's nothing. We name them."
-- Orson Scott Card, Alvin Journeyman

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