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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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3:57PM PDT on May 30, 2014

I can't handle animals suffering and no law will or can get in my way to stop this.Add me to any protest x

10:00PM PDT on May 29, 2014

Didn't realize chickens evolved from dinosaurs!

7:56PM PDT on May 27, 2014

I had a few chickens a lot of years ago. I recognized they did have some intelligence but I didn't realize just how smart they really are. Makes me want to raise some again & watch them a little closer!

6:18PM PDT on May 27, 2014

It's sad most chicken never be able to experience these fascinating & deserving behaviors.

12:46PM PDT on May 26, 2014


12:46PM PDT on May 26, 2014


11:45AM PDT on May 25, 2014

So probably like with humans they are saying come out come out aren't you starting to feel cramped in there!
Some might even have been humans in previous lives.

5:27AM PDT on May 25, 2014

Thank you for sharing.

12:12AM PDT on May 25, 2014

Moving on..........Rim? How is removing unfertilized eggs from a box filled with shavings that contains eggs laid by a hen who is nowhere around there anymore, either "stealing" or "murder"? Who or WHAT is being murdered? I get it that you are vegan. That's your choice, and while I have nothing against anyone being vegan, I DO have a lot against anyone who has decided that because they don't eat certain things, NOBODY else should, and I seriously wonder if your lack of nutrition might contribute to your "hard times" and inability to be logical. The brain needs to be nourished, you know.

12:08AM PDT on May 25, 2014

Okay, Rim, you "got it". I was trying to be civil and not make it personal, but since you've given me permission to talk to your silliness directly, I will. Yes, you are clueless. Chickens are not intelligent. If you think they are, then maybe you are LESS so than you realize. Nobody "steals" eggs from hens who are not nesting/incubating them to hatch, and unfertilized eggs will NEVER, EVER hatch, nor do hens sit on them except POSSIBLY rarely. Without a rooster, they will still lay each and every day, depending on weather, length of daylight, feed, etc., and as soon as an egg is laid, guess what? Ms. Hen is right back off the "nest" and back outside, scratching for bugs. I've never yet caught any of my six hens actually sitting in their boxes. If they aren't removed, they'll simply ROT. Nobody here is suggesting abusing hens, or any other living creature. If you had hens and didn't remove their eggs and allowed them to sit there and ROT, I'd say YOU were being abusive. So, I'm "getting away with it" because there are no laws preventing me from removing eggs? Are you serious? Yeah, you probably are. Sad, that.

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