Chicken is a domesticated bird that is grown for its eggs and meat. It is a subspecies of the red jungle fowl. Chicken is the most preferred by the population and some people have poultry, which is the mass rearing and domestication of chicken. The male chicken is called the rooster and the female one is the hen. When it comes to consuming the meat, both the male and female ones are used. However, the eggs are laid by the hen.
But did you know that humans and chicken are similar in some respect? It turns out that around 60% of the genes of the chicken have a human counterpart. The cell structure and the way the cell works was pretty much similar to that of humans. Chickens, like humans, tend to compare themselves with the others in their ‘group’, which means they see themselves as a separate identity from others. The other startling similarity is how chickens deviate from the traditional ways to novel ways of solving a problem. Moreover, the adult female displayed attributes of empathy and the ability to share another one’s emotional state. This obviously points to how they share some characteristics with us, humans.
Here are some more startling facts you probably didn’t know about them.
- They know their ‘boss’. They seem to follow a hierarchy, where they have pecking orders. This means, each of them knows their place on this hierarchy ladder.
- They can distinguish the other species by their face, at least a 100 of them. And you thought they all looked same!
- Chickens dream just like how we do. They have Rapid Eye Movements or REM.
- They have a full-colour vision.
- And yes! Just like us, they feel a lot of pain. They have pain receptors through which they experience distress too.
- They have about 30 types of vocalization to distinguish between the different types of threats.
- Chicken mothers teach their chicks to call even when they are in the womb. They talk to the babies when they are in her womb.
- The colour of their eggs is determined by the colour of their ears! The ones with red earlobes will lay brown eggs, while the ones with white earlobes will lay white eggs!
So, if this has surprised you enough, here are some types of chicken that you should probably get introduced to.
1. Bantam Chicken:
Bantam is the small variety of fowl. They look lovely and cute. In case, you are looking for some fresh eggs, you need to domesticate them. They just need a sturdy coop that they can call home. They love dust bath, peck and prod, so you only have to make sure they have ample moving space. They have smaller nutrition requirements as they are small in size.
2. Hybrid Chickens:
Like their name, they are crossbreed. Their cross-breeding began as a result of huge demand in the year 1950. They are crossed with two or more pure breeds and even a crossing after breeding. These ones are healthy and fit, because the bloodlines are different from their parents. When certain strains of birds are crossed, the offspring is always better than the parent. They are healthy looking with light layers. They are also much cheaper than any other breed.
3. The Pure Breed:
These are the traditional breeds and more broody than hybrids. They lay their eggs during the long summer days. They however lay fewer eggs and the breed I general is costly. They are these days grown for their appearance. The Rhode Island red, Sussex, Maran are some of the pure breed chicken.
In one word, they are beautiful! They are fluffy and friendly. They come in a range of colours like blue, lavender, black and white. They lay close to 200 light brown eggs in a year. Their golden shade of colour is attractive and thus falls prey to predators easily.
5. Plymouth Rock:
They are a popular chicken grown as farm breeds. They are hardy and like to roam around. They are also calm and come in various colours like blue, Columbian, partridge, blue, or black frizzle. They lay close to 250 eggs pinkish-brown eggs in a year.
Different Types of Chicken Breeds in India:
Did you know what chicken you ate? Well! Don’t get confused! There are many types of chicken breeds available in India with the highest nutritional values. Here are some popular chicken breeds in India. Read on to know more.
Eggs come from hens, the ones raised especially for eggs. But those chickens that are raised for meat are called broilers. They are white and are bred specifically for optimal health and in normal size in order to produce only quality product for the consumer.
They are typically raised in large, open structures called houses. They like to roam, eat, and walk around with other chickens. The colour of the egg depends on the cross of the broiler. For example, leghorn chicken will lay white coloured egg, whereas an olive egger will lay olive green eggs.
2. Asil Chicken:
the classic chicken of India is this cockfighting chicken also known as the Asil chicken. It is an ancient breed from India and are kept for ornamental purposes. They are however friendly when they are kept away from other cocks. They are also truly smart and strong muscled and are popularly found in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The feather is usually red, black or a mix of both and are known as hard feather. Their eggs are light brown in colour.
this one is another Indian breed of Jhabua and Dhar districts of Madhya Pradesh. It is high in demand owing to the rich protein and very low-fat content. Their skin colour is black and they lay black eggs. They are famous for their pitch-black feathers and is a natural brooder.
It is a medium-sized light feathered bird that is usually alert in nature. It has a wide variation in terms of colours. The beak is yellow with red wattles. Their eggs weight only about 28-38 grams and the shell colour of their eggs is light brown. They are found in Surat and other districts of Maharashtra.
They are one of the excellent pets to have among their species. They are docile and look beautiful. They lay about 140 eggs per year. Chittagong’s are light or buff or dark in colour. They are also known to get lazy. This breed came from Chittagong and Comilla district of Bangladesh. They have a distinct head shape.
This one is a chicken developed by the project Directorate on poultry-based in Hyderabad. It starts to lay eggs in about 175 days There are two varieties of it; white and coloured. The coloured variety produces less number of eggs than the white variety. However, they are attractive and have coloured feathers. They produce small brown eggs and are at a lower risk of threat from predators.
Giriraja is developed in Karnataka. It lays about 130-150 eggs per year. Each of this egg weighs about 50 grams. Their egg colour is brown in colour. They have been seen to show better growth as compared to the local varieties. They are also good scavengers and thus feed on insects and other greens.
another breed developed in Hyderabad by the Project Directorate on poultry. It is grown in the rural areas and thus can be grown in the backyard. They are scavengers and thus feed on insects. The eggs and meat are produced depending on their feeding and raring practices. They have multi-coloured feathers.
Although all of them look similar, they sure have differences, which becomes apparent only when you closely know them. The reasons why one domesticate will vary from the purpose. Some like it grow for eggs and meat, while others just like to grow them for ornamental purposes. So, the next time you think of ordering a chicken nugget, we hope these interesting facts come into your mind!