To see the definition for any term, scroll down or click the term at left.
A variety of chicken that is 1/4 to 1/2 the size of a Standard
chicken breed, kept mainly for ornamental purposes. Some chickens come
in both Standard and Bantam varieties; some come in just Bantam and some
in just Standard.
A material, usually wood shavings, added to the coop floor and nest box
in order to absorb odor and droppings and provide a soft surface for
chickens to walk on.
The delicate, invisible membrane outside an egg's shell that
protects the contents from bacteria and other foreign matter.
1. The desire of hens incubate and be a good mother to baby chicks.
2. A group of baby chicks.
The desire of some hens to sit on eggs (whether fertilized or
unfertilized) in order to incubate and hatch them.
The process of shining a light on an egg to see inside and determine
whether the it is fertilized. (Used to be done with a candle; now done
with normal lights!)
A castrated rooster.
"Chicken" to Brits, Aussies and Kiwis. (Hey, if they can call chickens chooks,
we can call them by their nicknames too, right?)
A group of fertilized eggs that a hen incubates.
A juvenile rooster.
The red, rubbery flesh on top of a chicken's head.
A chicken house.
A feed that contains everything your chickens need to maintain
back to top
A breed of chicken that has feathers on top of its head, such as a
Polish or Sultan.
A part of the esophagus where food is digested and softened before it
enters the stomach.
A collection unit located underneath roosting poles that collects
droppings for easy disposal.
A hen that is bred for both egg-laying and meat qualities.
Dual-purpose breeds are valued for their good nature and cold-hardiness.
A behavior pattern whereby chickens dig themselves a hole in the ground
and immerse themselves in the loosened earth, rolling around and trying
to get as dirty as possible. Dust bathing is an important defense against mites and lice,
and if they don't have access to a dust bath, they need an artificial
dust bath set up indoors.
A solution that allows chickens confined to the indoors (or without
access to dry earth) to take a dust bath.
The container that holds and delivers feed to your chickens.
An egg laid by a hen that has mated with a rooster and is capable of
becoming a baby chick. (Only possible when roosters are present!)
The soft, profuse feathering on a chicken's butt.
Gallus gallus domesticus
The species name (in Latin) of chickens.
Sand or bits of crushed rock which chickens eat and store in their
crop. Essential for proper digestion of food.
back to top
The feathers around a chicken's neck.
A female chicken.
The process of hatching a fertilized egg via the application of a
constant heat source, frequent turning and the maintenance of a humid
environment. Incubating baby chicks takes 21 days.
A complete feed
made especially for laying hens.
The chickens' yearly process of shedding its' feathers and
re-growing new ones. During the molt, hens will not lay eggs.
A man-made box designed to encourage hens to lay eggs in it. Common
wisdom is that one nest box is required for every 4-5 hens.
A chicken or breed of chicken that does not have a tendency or
desire to incubate fertilized eggs or care for baby chicks.
A type of chicken bred mainly for its appearance and for show, not for
egg production value or meat.
The social organization created by a flock of chickens whereby a bird
with a higher rank may peck a bird with a lower rank, but those with a
lower rank may not peck those with a higher rank. (The bird with the
highest rank can peck all the other birds; the one with the lowest rank
can peck none.)
Much like dog shows organized by the American Kennel Association, Poultry
Shows are venues for judging poultry according to breed standards, organized
by the American Poultry Association. They include chickens, ducks, geese,
turkeys, and other poultry. (Unlike dog shows, you don't have to take your bird
out and make it trot, sit, stand etc.)
A type of chicken bred specifically for its value as an egg layer.
A juvenile hen.
back to top
1. When chickens perch on a pole or branch, as in when they sleep.
2. A pole or branch that chickens perch on.
A male chicken.
A man-made perch, usually constructed of wood and located inside the
chicken coop, that chickens perch on while they sleep.
A breed that does not have tail feathers like normal chickens (such
as the Araucana).
An outdoor area where chickens can roam freely, usually attached to
the chicken coop.
The feathers on the lower part of a chicken's back.
1. A special treat that chickens love made of various grains. (Not
to be substituted for feed.)
2. An instinctual behavior chickens perform with their claws to dig up
bugs, worms, tiny rocks and other goodies they find in the soil.
A chicken or breed of chickens that has a tendency or desire to
incubate a batch of fertilized eggs
A process by which the sex of a baby chick is determined.
A relatively new type of chicken whose sex is indicated as soon as they
hatch by the color of their feathers. Sex Link females are known for excellent
egg production and males as good "fryers".
The bottom part of a chicken's legs.
The tail feathers on a rooster.
An additional appendage-like protrusion on a rooster's shanks. (Used
back to top
A juvenile hen between that has already started laying eggs.
A complete feed
formulated specifically for baby chicks.
Straight run chicks are an "as hatched" mix of males and females--they are not sexed first and then separated out into each order. Over large numbers (hundreds or thousands), the hatching ratio of straight run orders averages out to be a 50-50 mix, but with small orders the ratio can vary considerably. For instance, if you were to order eight straight run chicks, you will get between zero and eight roosters and between zero and eight hens--there is no way to tell. Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst! You might order 8 straight run chicks and end up with 8 males.
The exernal opening of a chicken through which all waste matter and eggs
The container that holds and delivers water for your chickens.
The two red, rubbery flaps of flesh on a chicken's neck.
A chicken's butt (colloquial).
A medicine or treatment that rids animals of intestinal worms.
back to top