Chicken Facts (part two)

Hannah holds the Red one

Daft Chickens try to peck through the patio door to the bread!

The Red one hops through the snow!

Chickeny Facts

These facts are web researched with a little dash of personal experience.

You don't need a cockerel for the hens to lay eggs. Each time a friend visits for the first time one of the questions asked is "don't you need a cock to get eggs?" (this always makes my hubby giggle!). The hens will lay around every 25 hours give or take and a cockerel is only needed if you want to have chicks, otherwise your ladies will happily lay delicious eggs for you almost every day (dependent on breed).

T-Rex was an overgrown chicken. Another observation from first time visitors is "wow, their feet are really scaly". In studies similarities have been found between chickens and dinosaurs in bone structure and the discovery of feathery remains, but only recently has a molecular link been found. The current study, carried out by scientists at Harvard University claims that "analysis of a protein - along with the proteins of 21 modern species - confirms that dinosaurs share common ancestry with chickens, ostriches and, to a lesser extent, alligators." (1) So the answer to "what came first the chicken or the egg" is neither it's T-Rex! The reptilian link is further supported as Crocodile and Snake reportedly taste like chicken!

We get a lot of double yolkers from the Red one and the White one, around two in every ten eggs are doubles. The Black one lays the smallest eggs, always single yolks and she is the biggest chicken! In 1925, hens laid an average of 100 eggs a year. In 1979, the world record was set by a white Leghorn who laid 371 eggs in 364 days! (2)

Alektorophobia is the name given to the fear of Chickens. A very good friend of mine is Alektorophobic and was set a forfeit as part of her radio show based on the outcome of the world cup final. Spain won and Hannah had to hold a chicken! She was very brave and did it twice, there's video evidence in the capsule below.

When chickens moult they stop laying eggs until the have re-grown their feathers. Whilst your chicken is moulting try not to pick her up, the new feathers are like little spikes and can be quite irritating to the hen, and picking her up will only make it worse. She will look ragged and haggered for a week or two and then one day she will be transformed and egg laying will resume.

Chickens cant see glass! If I hold a piece of bread inform of the patio door with the chickens on the outside they will repeatedly pack at the glass in the vain hope that they'll get the bread. I find it so funny I have sent the video to 'You've Been Framed'! I've also posted it below.

Chickens aren't fond of snow. This I only found out recently. Last winter they were out roaming around the garden when the snow started to fall and then went into the coop as it got dark. The next day they stayed indoors and I didn't think much of it, just sensible birds - it's cold! It snowed over the weekend and settled to about 10 cm deep. I opened the coop gate to the rest of the garden and they didn't budge, that is until I appeared at the patio door later with some bread. The Black one was first making it across the garden in two leaps thus getting her feet in the snow just once and managing to land on a cleared area. Speckles then followed having learnt from the black one. I managed to get my phone out and video Red going for it, sadly she is smaller than the others and didn't make it to the cleared area but they all got to enjoy the bread in the end. When it came to getting them back into the coop no amount of bread could tempt them back across the garden and in the end I had to carry them one by one!

A chicken once had it's head cut off and survived for over 18 months. I've not had chance to test that one yet!!

Sources:

  • (1)Harvard University journal Science, 27 April 200
  • (2) www.shilala.homestead.com


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