Monday, May 6, 2019

Chicken Terminology

"M" pointed out that I missed chickens. So here it goes.....

Poultry- term describing domestic fowl.
Flock - name for a group of chickens.
Hen -- an adult female that has reached egg laying age.
Pullet -- a female chicken that hasn't yet started laying eggs.
Rooster - a male chicken that has attained breeding age.
Cock - a rooster.
Cockerel - a male chicken under breeding age.
Capon- a castrated male chicken. 
Chick - a baby chicken.
Hatchlings - young newly hatched chicks.
Banti -- a bantam; a small breed of chicken.
Sex link- a situation where the male and female chicks can be sexually identified at birth based upon their coloration.
Straight run- term to designate that hatchlings are not sexed (identified as male vs female).
Broody - the hen's behavior to lay on and thus incubate a clutch of eggs.
Clutch -- the group of eggs or chicks from one hen.
Broiler - a chicken destined for slaughter between 7-12 weeks of age.
Comb - the fleshy growth atop a chickens head, usually red in color.
Crop - part of the digestive system looked at the base of the neck, which stores ingested food.
Vent - the opening on a chickens butt through which passes bodily discharges and eggs. 
Molt - a time period when the bird loses feathers and regrows replacements. 
Roost - a place up off the ground where chickens tend to rest or sleep.
Grit - small pebbles or gravel eaten by chickens to grind their food in their gizzard.
Spur - sharp horny spike on the legs. More pronounced and common on roosters. 


  1. For your Australian readers, hens are commonly known as 'chooks'!

  2. Glad you brought that up. Thanks. When I was in England I once heard a person refer to her hens as chooks, and also biddies.