Chickens are beautiful and social creatures. There’s a wide variety of reasons that chickens are unique and special, and they’re definitely worth mentioning. Here are 6 cool facts about chickens:
Chicken Fact #1: Chickens start communicating with their mothers before hatching.
Unborn chicks and their mothers have a strong bond – so strong, in fact, that they start to communicate before the chicks have even hatched. Mother hens will make soft purring sounds, and in return, the chicks will respond by making cheeping noises from inside their eggs.
Chicken Fact #2: Mother hens teach their chicks to avoid danger.
In a handful of different tests, hens have been observed and it’s been noted that hens teach their chicks to avoid food that is bad for them. In one test, observers watched as a hen taught her babies to avoid unhealthy color coded grains. If a hen can do this, she most likely is able to teach her young to avoid other things as well.
Chicken Fact #3: Chickens enjoy dust baths.
Much like chinchillas, chickens love rolling around in the dust to get clean. Many times chicken owners will see their chickens digging holes in the dirt and rolling in them with their wings outstretched at weird angles. Don’t worry, though – the chickens’ wings aren’t usually hurt by doing this.
Chicken Fact #4: Chickens can eat a plant and animal-based diet.
Chickens are omnivores, meaning they eat meat and plants. Most chickens that are raised on farms or in someone’s home are fed a plant-based diet. Chickens can eat small animals like mice, as well as animal fat or lard. Lard is especially good for chickens when they need to bulk up for winter, as it makes them gain weight quickly.
Chicken Fact #5: Hens can choose which male fertilizes their eggs.
Hens will mate with plenty of different males, but if she doesn’t want to have the offspring of a certain male, she can choose to simply eject his sperm before fertilization occurs. This is known to happen when the male is lower than the female in the pecking order, and is done to make sure that the chicks are of high status and as healthy as possible.
Chicken Fact #6: A chicken’s fear can paralyze it.
When a chicken gets too scared, it can suffer chicken hypnosis (also called tonic mobility), which is essential when the chicken goes into a catatonic state after being scared. Chickens can be tricked into this state, and are often put into it when restraining the chicken is necessary, but may also be dangerous. The chicken being totally immobile allows for a safe restraint.
Chickens are really unique animals, and whether they’re being raised for food, or to become the family pet, there’s no denying that they’re pretty interesting.