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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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488 comments

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6:50AM PDT on Aug 6, 2014

Most animals have a lot more going on then we think they do. Most humans have a lot less going on then we think we do.

4:04AM PDT on Aug 6, 2014

I didn't realize chickens were so smart.
It's sad that most chickens don't get to show how smart they are, when they are thrown in a cage for all their lives!!
When I was a kid, my aunt & uncle had a farm. I remember feeding the chickens and they were so cute when they were calling the rest for breakfast. I had on flip-flops and one of them pecked my toe. I guess they thought we had brought them a special treat.

5:52PM PDT on Jul 27, 2014

I have nothing against retrieving unfertilized eggs from pasture raised hens, there is no cruelty in that. But the massive killing of billions of livestock through unnatural human breeding of them for human selfish greed is cruelty itself. Humanity is at the top of nothing, and does not deserve to overpopulate the earth. They have become an unwanted virus against the natural order of things.

5:49PM PDT on Jul 27, 2014

The human factory farm war against chickens is no different than the holocaust of Hitler's Germany. Humanity is a nightmare against life itself. I don't include the caring ones who are struggling against that but they are overwhelmed by humanity's evil.

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

Thanks

12:46PM PDT on May 26, 2014

Thanks

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