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Chicken Keeping FAQ's

Glossary of Common 'Chicken' Terms:

Bantam - Small size chickens and cockerels.

Brody - Term used for a chicken sitting tight on the nest in the hope of hatching some eggs, they will usually protest loudly and peck you if you try to put your hand underneath them.

Candle - Method of shining a strong light through an egg to determine if it is developing into a chick.

Cockeral - Male bird.

Comb - The serrated pink/red fleshy part on the top of the hen or cockerels head. Much larger on the cockerels than hens.

Crop - First section of the digestive system - A 'pouch' where the food is stored at the base of the neck.  It can be clearly felt in the evening when full with food!

Hybrids - Chickens of mixed parents and grandparents selected for their productivity from the best strain

Fertile Eggs - Eggs from chickens that have been with a cockerel - still fine to eat!

Moult - Annual event when the feathers are shed and re-grown.  Usually occurs in the Autumn.

Point of Lay - Loose term for birds of approximately 16 weeks old.  The pullets do not generally lay until at least 20 weeks so can be a little misleading.

Pullets - Female chickens under 1 year old, some people class chickens as pullets until they commence laying.  When over 1 year old (or when they begin laying depending on your train of thought) they become 'hens'.

Pure Breeds - 'Pedigree' chickens who will always breed true (the chicks will resemble the parents). 

Roost - Chickens at rest or sleeping - usually they should 'perch' on roosts (or sleep on poles above the ground).

Spur -The nail like growths on the inside lower part of a cockerels legs.

Wattles - The red fleshy parts hanging below the chickens chin/beak -much larger on cockerels than hens.

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