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Chicken Terminology

Whether you have chickens or not, you can sound like you know what you're talking about with this list of common chicken terms. Get ready to impress your friends and family with your new found knowledge!

A small breed of chicken that’s generally one-fourth the size of a regular chicken
A chicken raised for meat
A heated, enclosed place where baby chicks are kept during the first weeks of their life while they’re growing their feathers (until then they can’t keep themselves warm)
Broody hen:
A hen that stops laying eggs when her ‘maternal’ instincts kick in. When this happens, she’ll sit on a clutch of eggs, waiting for them to hatch.
The grouping of long feathers (hackles) on a chicken’s neck
A male chicken that’s been castrated
Chicken run:
A fenced in portion of yard attached to the chicken coop where chickens can freely roam
Baby chicken
A group of eggs that are laid together (often being sat on by a broody hen)
An older male chicken
An adolescent male chicken
The red flap of fleshy ‘skin’ sticking up on top of a chicken’s head
A house where chickens live
A part of a chicken’s esophagus that stores food before it’s digested
The soft, fluffy feathers on a baby chick
Dust bath:
When a chicken covers themselves with dirt to help get rid of mites or to help cool themselves off on hot days
Egg tooth:
The sharp end of a chick’s beak that’s used to break out of the egg shell
To acquire or grow feathers
Another name for broiler, or chicken raised for meat
Gallus domesticus:
The fancy (scientific) name for domestic chickens
Grower feed:
Chicken food for adolescent chickens
The long feathers on a chicken’s neck
A female chicken that is at least one year old
A heated device used for hatching eggs
A chicken raised to lay eggs
The bedding material spread on the floor of a chicken house (i.e. wood shavings, straw)
When a chicken sheds their feathers (usually happens once a year but can be stress related as well)
When a baby chick pecks out of their shell
The big, stiff feathers on the chicken’s wings that aid in flying
An adolescent female chicken
A perch, pole or shelf generally 2 feet or more off the ground where chickens rest and sleep
An adult male chicken
When baby chicks are separated by gender
The claw on the back of a rooster’s leg that can cause damage to anyone or anything that gets in the way if the rooster is aggressive
Starter feed:
Chicken food for chicks
Straight run chicks:
When baby chicks have not been separated by gender
The opening in the backside of a chicken where both waste is eliminated and eggs are laid
The red flap of fleshy ‘skin’ hanging down under a chicken’s beak











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