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10 Fascinating Facts About Chickens

10 Fascinating Facts About Chickens
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Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 Favorite. It was originally published on August 12, 2013. Enjoy.

In the United States alone, more than 8.5 billion chickens are killed every year. That’s 272 every second!

Those numbers are pretty crazy, right? When I actually sat down to figure it all out, I literally couldn’t get my head around all those zeros. Every single one of those chickens is a unique individual that has so much more to offer the world than ending up on someone’s dinner plate.

Don’t believe me? Check out these incredible and fascinating facts about chickens:

1. Chickens slurp grass like spaghetti.

When living in their natural environment, chickens will spend the day foraging for bugs and slurping down fresh blades of grass.

2. Chickens LOVE dust baths.

It may not sound very appealing to you, but chickens take so much pleasure in digging a shallow pit in the dirt, spreading their winds and rolling around in it. Dust baths help chickens maintain proper feather insulation and ward off parasites. I’ve known chickens that have spent their entire life cooped up in a cage but when given the chance to be free, one of the first things they ever did was give themselves a dust bath.

3. Chickens have complex communication with specific meanings.

When you spend enough time around chickens, you’ll start to understand their many different vocalizations, from calling their youngsters to alerting others of the whereabouts of food.

4. Chickens like to play.

When given enough space, chickens will run, jump, spa and even sunbathe. Unfortunately, around 95% of all chickens raised in the United States spend their entire lives in tiny cages no bigger than the size of an iPad.

5. Chickens talk to their unborn babies.

In a natural setting, a mother hen will cluck to her chicks before they have even hatched and they will churp back to her and to each other through their shells. In factory farms, a chick will never get to meet his or her parents because they are taken from her as soon as they are laid and placed in large incubators.

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Top Photo Credit: petercooperuk

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1016 comments

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3:19AM PDT on Jun 28, 2015

Very interesting. I can't understand how people can treat them so terribly(
Thank you for sharing =)

5:21PM PDT on Jun 24, 2015

Isn't that something? To think they want to enjoy life like the rest of us, yet WE allow the factory farms to put them through a miserable existence. I hope the same happens in the end for those who poison the lives of any animal.

4:33AM PDT on Jun 24, 2015

more chicken wonders. they can "make a dinosaur" with chicken.

2:30PM PDT on Jun 23, 2015

Very interesting!

As a Bible believer, I have nothing against eating chickens, but cruelty is never justified. (The Bible specifically teaches humane treatment of animals.)

4:04PM PDT on Jun 19, 2015

this article was very interesting. Thanks for notifying me about chickens

7:26AM PDT on Jun 19, 2015

My chickens were a delight. I always talked with them and that is why my children called me "Psycho chicken".
Years later, when I was in my rooms seeing patients, my son came in and gave me a baby chicken and asked me to look after it. He was working at the museum and saw s some male chickens being fed to a crocodile.
The chicken grew into a magnificent red rooster who believed that I was his mother. He taught me a lot. One of the things I learnt is the instinctive vocal language that they have. I can warn a hen or rooster that there is danger from above, say that I have found some food, that I am here and that would it please follow me, that this is very nice and I am blissfully happy and a few other things. All in fowl language.
I was shown that the rooster really, really loved me and missed me when I was away working, but of course, he was a rooster and I had to understand that he was my superior!

8:58AM PDT on Jun 18, 2015

Thanks

8:57AM PDT on Jun 18, 2015

Thanks

3:00AM PDT on Jun 18, 2015

Chickens have separate vocalizations for hawks, raccoons, and their people! They are cool. I don't like the taste of chicken, but sadly, I do love their eggs!

2:40PM PDT on Jun 17, 2015

Interesting article, thanks.

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