Raising chickens is incredibly fun and very rewarding. They are amazing pets and are unfortunately underrated and not thought of as first options by people looking to buy pets. They are very friendly, deliver fresh eggs and also make great gardeners. Your chickens will fertilize your plants and kill pest and bugs in your yard for you. I have put together a list of common words used when talking about chickens that will be important to know if you are getting into the wonderful world of chicken raising.
Bantam – A small chicken that is roughly half the size of normal chicken breeds. These are often raised for ornamental reasons.
Bedding – The main reason for bedding in your chicken coop is to absorb the chicken droppings and their smell. You will also want something soft enough that will cushion the eggs as they are laid by your chickens. You can use wood shavings, newspaper, hay or other soft and absorbent materials.
Brood – Hens incubating their chicks or a flock of baby chicks.
Candling – The process of using a candle or light bulb to shine through an eggs to find out if it is fertilized or not. If you don’t own a rooster you won’t have to worry about eggs being fertilized, but if you do you will want to be able to separate the eggs you can eat or sell and the eggs that will be come chickens.
Capon – A castrated rooster.
Cockerel – A young rooster.
Comb – The rubbery, flat piece that is on top of the chicken’s head. Roosters generally have larger combs than hens.
Coop – A chicken house.
Dust Bath – When chickens dig a hole in the ground and then climb in. They will get themselves nice and dirty to protect themselves from lice and mites that will feed off their blood.
Feeder – Where you will place your chicken feed.
Fertilized Egg – an egg that is laid after a hen has mated with a rooster and will become a baby chick.
Grit – Bits of rock or sand that your chickens will eat that stay in their digestive track to help digest food.
Hackles – Feathers on their neck.
Hen – Female chicken.
Incubation – Using heat to help hatch fertilized eggs. Using constant heat and turning the eggs are very important to the eggs hatching properly. This process usually takes about 3 weeks.
Molting – When a chicken sheds its feather and re-grows them, this process happens once a year and chickens will not lay eggs during this period.
Nest Box – Where you chickens will lay their eggs.
Non-Setter – These breeds of chickens have no interest in taking care of baby chicks.
Pullet – A young hen.
Roost – A pole or branch, something up high in the coop that your chickens will sleep on.
Rooster – A male chicken.
Run – An area connected to the coop that chickens can roam freely in.
Scratch – food made for chickens out of different grains, which is often scattered around the yard.
Shanks – The part of a chicken’s leg that can be seen at the bottom.
Sickles – A roosters tail feathers.
Wattle – The rubbery flesh found under the chicken’s neck.
Hopefully this list of chicken related terms will help you in your efforts to raise happy and healthy chickens.
John Locke is an expert on chickens.