Chicken facts you need to know…because they are just too stinking cool not to! I write about raising chickens a lot, practical things like coop mistakes and feeding for health. But sometimes you just have to learn about some cool, and possibly unknown chicken facts too.
These are the little facts you don’t generally read about when it comes to raising chickens; but I think this will give you a whole new perspective of your backyard birds. Here are 13 things you may have never known before…
Chicken Facts You Need to Know
- Chickens are the Closest Living Relative to the T-Rex
I’ve been telling people that my chickens are like little raptors with wings; who knew I was so close to being right? 😉 (source)
- Chickens Can Recognize Up to 100 Different Faces
Yep, your chickens DO know who you are! (source)
- Chickens Love Classical Music
Chickens that listen to classical music will layer bigger and heavier eggs. Thanks Mozart! (source)
- Chickens Are Omnivores
You may know this if you’ve been raising chickens for awhile but I include this for the newbies. It can be confusing when you see “vegetarian fed” eggs all over the market. I promise you that chickens love meat; a fact that the lizards in our yard have learned the hard way. They’ll also eat rodents, cockroaches and scorpions.
- Chickens Can Dream
Yes, they really do want to be an American Idol…just kidding. But scientists have found that chickens enter a REM sleep much like humans do. (source)
- Chickens are Quick
If you’ve ever chased a hen around you’re yard, you may be aware of this. But did you know that they can reach speeds of up to 9 mph? (source)
- It’s All About That Comb Baby
A hen’s comb will get bigger and redder right before she starts laying. That is a signal that your pullet is about to become a woman. (source)
- Chickens Outnumber Us – But Some Breeds Are Extinct
Chickens outnumber people about 4 to 1 worldwide. BUT some breeds have gone extinct or will shortly become extinct. Because traditional farming has bred for heavier meat birds or heavy laying birds, we have lost variety. You can get more information about this on the Livestock Conservancy page.
- Chickens Don’t Chew
That’s right, they don’t need teeth because they don’t chew their food. Chickens swallow food whole and it is broken down in the gizzard and then passed through the digestive system. (source)
- Chickens Have THREE Eyelids
Better for winking my dear. No, seriously the 3rd eyelid is the nictitating membrane and it moistens, cleanses and protects their eyeballs. (source)
- Chickens Have Their Own Distinct Language
Did you know that your chickens has up to 30 types of vocalization? From sweet talking to their baby chicks to warnings for the flock. Check out their different sounds and meanings here.
- Chickens Can Live Longer Than You Think
I have read about chickens living into their 20s and still laying occasionally.
- Zombie Chickens
Back in the 1940s there was a chicken that lived 18 months WITHOUT a head! Don’t try this at home folks…this is not a common occurrence. This is the stuff of horror stories!!!! More on Miracle Mike.
So there you have it – 13 cool chickens facts you need to know. Ok, need may be a strong word; but don’t you feel more informed? I hope Miracle Mike the zombie chicken doesn’t give you nightmares…