English for Agriculture - Beginners and Intermediate


A male chicken is called a rooster. 

A female chicken is called a hen.

A baby is called a chick. 

A group of chicken is called a flock.

A group of hens called a brood.

A group of baby chicks is called a clutch.

Chickens are domestic or farm birds. The live span of a chicken is about 10 to 15 years. Roosters larger and more brightly colored than hens. That is why roosters show off their colorful feathers to attract hens. A chicken has a comb on the head and two wattles under the neck . A rooster has a larger comb compared to the one a hen has. Chickens eat worms, insects, seeds, grains, snails, fruits, vegetables and many other foods. When eating, they have to swallow the whole food because they do not have teeth. For this reason, they have in the gizzard, which is a part of the chicken’s stomach, small stones to help grind up the food.

Chickens also produce eggs. The female is usually ready to lay her first eggs when she is around six months old. Eggs are the most well-known and well-consumed byproduct. Eggs are source of protein and are used in baking. Also, we can eat from the chicken almost all the parts of its body, such as breast (white meat), legs (dark meat) and wings. In other area of the world they even use necks, heart and much more.

Raising chickens is becoming more and more popular with small farmers, urban farmers, homesteaders. This is because the demand for poultry and eggs have raised because these are cheaper than beef, pork and lamb. Chickens can also be beneficial in differents farming operations one of them is that they help to control pests because they eat insetcs, so this helps the farmer to reduce cost on buying fertilizers.

These animals are also genetically manipulated and regularly dosed with drugs to make them grow faster and larger. The average breast of an 8-week-old chicken is seven times heavier today than it was 25 years ago. Because of this accelerated weight gain, these very young birds frequently die of heart attacks and lung collapse. Also, almost all chickens on today’s factory farms cannot walk because their legs cannot support the weight of their bodies. Many die when they can no longer reach the water nozzles.

Broiler Chickens

Chickens raised just for food are called broilers Breeder Chickens. Chickens will naturally live for six or more years, but broiler chickens typically take less than six weeks to reach slaughter size.

Egg-laying hens

Chickens farmed for eggs are called egg-laying hens. In total, the UK alone consumes over 29 million eggs per day. Some hens breeds can can produce over 300 eggs per year.

Artificial incubation (egg incubator)

Incubation can successfully occur artificially in machines that provide the correct, controlled environment for the developing chick. The average incubation period for chickens is 21 days but may depend on the temperature and humidity in the incubator.

Curious facts

The chicken is the closest living relative to the great Tyrannosaurus-Rex.

A chickens' heart beats 280-315 times a minute.

Chickens are not capable of flight continuously.

A hen can live up to 20 years. She will lay eggs her entire life, with the number decreasing every year from year one.

A chicken finds it very important to have a private nest.

It takes a chick 21 days to develop in the egg. It starts developing when it reaches a temperature of 88 degrees F.

Chickens have more bones in their necks than giraffes. 

Chickens are very social animals. They will fight to protect their family and will suffer when there are more chickens than people in the world.

Last modified: Monday, 23 May 2016, 6:10 PM
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