On one of our visits down to Oregon visiting Mack’s parents something inside me changed (or snapped) and suddenly I wanted chickens. This in itself was really odd since I’m scared of chickens. Or at least I was more so then I am now. Something about their beady eyes and sharp talons was a major turn off to me. Until I had farm fresh eggs. After that? Suddenly chickens weren’t all that bad in my book.
As we prepare to get some chickens for our backyard I decided it was high-time I do some research and learn more about these predators (joking) who will soon be making our lives a whole lot more chaotic.
- More than 50 billion chickens are reared annually as a source of food, for both their meat and their eggs.
- The vast majority of poultry are raised using intensive farming techniques. According to the Worldwatch Institute, 74 percent of the world’s poultry meat, and 68 percent of eggs are produced this way.
- The broody hen will stop laying and instead will focus on the incubation of the eggs (a full clutch (all the eggs produced by birds or reptiles at a single time) is usually about 12 eggs).
- Incubation for eggs is about 21 days (if the egg has been fertilized).
- Chickens may live for five to eleven years, depending on the breed.
- Meat chicken generally lives six weeks before slaughter.
- Chickens can sense fear. This excites them.**
- A chicken is 75% water.
- A chicken once had its head cut off and survived for over eighteen months, headless.
- There are more chickens on Earth than there are humans.
- There are four cities in the United States that have the word “chicken” in their name: Chicken, Alaska; Chicken Bristle, Illinois; Chicken Bristle, Kentucky; and Chicken Town, Pennsylvania.
- The chicken is the closest living relative of the tyrannosaurus-rex.
- Hens will try to lay in nests that already contain eggs, and have been known to move eggs from neighboring nests into their own. Hens can also be extremely stubborn about always laying in the same location.
- The fear of chickens is called ‘Alektorophobia’.
- On average, a hen layouts 300 eggs per year.
* emphasis on “I didn’t know”.
** citation needed.
my sources: Amazing Chicken Facts, Wikipedia: Chicken, and 20 Little Known Facts about Chickens