10 Fascinating Facts About Chickens

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.

Chickens slurp grass like spaghetti

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

2. Chickens LOVE dust baths.

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 wings and rolling around in it.áDust 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.

Chickens have complex communication with specific meanings

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

4. Chickens like to play.

Chickens like to play

When given enough space, chickens will run, jump and even sunbathe. Unfortunately, aroundá95 percentáof chickens raised in the U.S. spend their entire lives in cages no bigger than an iPad.

5. Chickens talk to their unborn babies.

Chickens talk to their unborn babies

In a natural setting, aámother hen will cluck to her chicks before they have even hatched. The chicks will respond by chirping 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 awayáas soon as they are laid and placed in large incubators.

6. Chickens are a lot more clever than you think.

Chickens are a lot more clever than you think

Recent studies have shown thatáchickens areáintelligent animalsáwith many attributes akin to thoseáof primates. They are able to solve complex problems, understand cause and effect, pass on knowledge, demonstrate self control and worry about the future.

7. Chickens are technicallyádinosaurs.

Chickens are technically dinosaurs

Chickens evolved from dinosaurs and are the closest living relative to the magnificent T. rex. Research has also proven that they are, in fact,álivingádinosaurs.

8. Chickens place great importance on building a private nest.

Chickens place great importance on building a private nest

Chickensástart by scratching a shallow bed in the ground. Then, they carry twigs and leaves on their backs, letting the material slide off beforeábuilding up the rim of the nest. Chickensáwill even go without food and water in favor ofácreating aáprivate nest safe from predators.

9. Chickens have excellent memories.

Chickens have excellent memories

They are able to recognize and remember more thaná100 different individuals, including humans.

10. Chickens canácomprehend object permanence.

Chickens can comprehend object permanence

Even when an object has been removedáand hidden,áchickens are able toácomprehend that it still exists. Not many animals have thisáability, and neither do young human children.

Photo Credit: Remy Baudouin/Unsplash


Sarah Hill
Sarah H7 months ago

Wish we had some chickens.

Marie W.
Marie W9 months ago

Thank you for sharing

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus9 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Nancy W.
Nancy W9 months ago


Patricia H.
Patricia H9 months ago

Mark Donner, this article has nothing to do with humans or monkeys, and a human life has just as much has value as any other life on earth, even if the majority are by far the most greedy, ignorant, and selfish of all of mankind!!!! ''Care''2 is becoming more a human-hating website than an actual ''CARING'' site!! Is Care2 supposed to be a site where everything matters?!

william Miller
william Miller9 months ago


Mark Donner
Mark Donner9 months ago

The overpopulated mutated human monkeys are a grave insult to the monkey species. Seven hundred billion pounds of human flesh are destroying this planet. And the piteous thing is that most of them think they are something special, evolved or intelligent somehow, when in fact humanity has no value, and humanity is not in the class of anything classed as life. Rather humanity is some sort of planetary virus whose mission is to destroy life, and then themselves. Poor planet Earth, you were beautiful and diverse with life until the humans with their evil minds raped and destroyed your two billion years of evolution. Not that there aren't a tiny exception to the human disease who are aware and care about the world. Due to the nature of the human race those few are eventually hunted down and killed off so the greedy and criminal majority can prevail in their evil intentions.

Elizabeth McGowan
Elizabeth M9 months ago


Mark Donner
Mark Donner9 months ago

Carol P. You're right, as a carnivorous monkey you should go and eat some of the other carnivorous human monkey who have no conscience or soul. Failing that, eat yourself.

Heather Brophy
Heather Brophy9 months ago

Carol P., Ignorance is bliss you fool!