Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fun Facts about Chickens

I compiled this list about 6 years ago when I worked at Seattle Tilth as their City Chicken Coordinator.  I just found it again when doing some research.

  • A chicken will lay bigger and stronger eggs if you change the lighting in such a way as to make them think a day is 28 hours long!
  • Chickens can travel up to 9 miles per hour.
  • There seven distinctive types of combs on chickens: rose, strawberry, single, cushion, buttercup, pea, and V-shaped.
  • Unrelated to the chick, the male cock-of-the-rock bird earned the name "cock" because of its rooster-like appearance and combative behavior. The female of the species influenced the word "rock" being added to the name because of her habit of nesting and rearing the young in sheltered rock niches.
  • There are four places in the United State with the word "chicken" in their name. Chicken, Alaska; Chicken Bristle; in Illinois and Kentucky; and Chicken Town, Pennsylvania.
  • The largest chicken egg on record was nearly 12 oz., measuring 12 1/4" around.
  • The greatest number of yolks in one chicken egg is nine.
  • The record for laying the most eggs: seven in one day.
  • There are more chickens in the world than any other domesticated bird. More than one chicken for every human on the face of this earth.
  • The longest distance flown by any chicken is 301 1/2 feet. (as the crow flies)
  • Every bird and mammal except the spiny anteater experiences REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
  • Did you know that some breeds of chickens can lay colored eggs? Sure enough, the Ameraucana and Araucana can lay eggs colored in shades of green or blue, depending on the breed and it's ancestry.
  • In 1994, 73,866 million eggs were produced in the U.S. proving once again the U.S. has the best darn chickens in the world.
  • China not only has the most people in the world, but also has the most Horses with 10,000,000 and chickens with over 3,000,000,000 of them.
  • Chickens and turkeys are known to cross-breed, these breeds are known as "Turkins".
  • The term 'Chicken Pox' didn't come from people believing that they came from chickens, it came from the Old English term 'gican pox' - which means the itching pox.
  • Alektorophobia - Fear of chickens.
  • Laid head to claw, KFC chickens consumed worldwide would stretch some 275,094 miles. They would circle the Earth at the equator 11 times or stretch from the Earth approximately 50,094 miles past the moon.
  • There are approximately 450 million chickens in the United States.
  •  Chickens make sounds with actual meaning. They give different alarm calls when threatened by different predators.
  • A rooster will attack anything that he thinks will harm the hens ( that includes humans ). Their spurs (located at the back of their leg ) can cause a very painful puncture wound.
  • If a rooster is not present in a flock of hens, a hen will often take the role, stop laying, and begin to crow.
  • In Gainesville, Georgia - the chicken capital of the world - it is illegal to eat chicken with a fork! [Source: local ordinance]
  • McDonald's in India doesn't serve beef -- only chicken, mutton and fish. [Source: notice displayed in McDonalds Bombay outlet]
  • The closest living relative of the t-rex is the chicken.
  • The waste produced by one chicken in its lifetime can supply enough electricity to run a 100 watt bulb for five hours.
  • The longest recorded flight of a chicken is thirteen seconds.
  • There are more chickens than people in the world.

I am not sure how correct some of these facts are, but some are pretty darn fun!

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