The first batch of chicks for this season have arrived at Holben Valley Farm, a provider of grass-fed products in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania for over 50 years. It was the cuteness of these babies and my love (and immense hatred) for the “Chicken Dance” inspired me to pull together some fun facts about the Gallus gallus domesticus (the chicken).
If you’ve never flapped your wings on a wedding reception dance floor to this oom-pah song, you are missing one of the best chances in life for it to be ok to look silly, because everyone else doing this group dance looks as equally silly. Go download (legally) the “Chicken Dance” song and learn to polka like a chicken!
Now, on my top favorite fun chicken facts that you can use to impress your friends only AFTER the flapping of the arms, wiggling of the body side to side and clapping of the hands four times has been completed.
- With 25 billion chickens in the world, there are more of them than any other bird species. AND there are more chickens alive on earth than people. (There, you got 2 facts for the price of one right here.)
- Baby chickens are chicks. Female chickens are pullets until they’re old enough to lay eggs and become hens. Male chickens are called roosters, cocks or cockerels, depending on the country you’re in.
- The average hen lays 265 table eggs each year.
- A mother hen turns her egg fifty times a day to keep the yolk from sticking to the shell.
- It is thought that the nearest relative of the Tyrannosaurus Rex is a chicken. (I did a double take on this too, but the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture says it’s true.)
- Chickens aren’t completely flightless -- they can get airborne enough to make it over a fence or into a tree.
- Although, chickens will be less ‘flighty’ if while tending a pen or chicken house the caretaker walks backwards.
- You can literally hypnotize a chicken by holding it and drawing a line in the dirt over and over. The chicken will stay still right there as long as you do this. (Note to self: I must try this.)
- Fear of chickens is called Alektorophobia.
- And which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, the Smithsonian Magazine tells us that all vertebrates have eggs, but the hardshelled variety first appeared among reptiles.