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A rooster (left), with a hen (right).

The chicken (scientific name : Gallus gallus domesticus) is a domesticated fowl. The male is called the rooster, and the female, the hen.

The chicken is bred worldwide, for its meat, and its eggs. The rooster crows at the dawn : "cock-a-doodle-doo !". It is the symbol of France, and one of the Chinese zodiac signs.

Behaviour and appearance[edit | edit source]

Hens eat wheat, grass, worms, and they live with other hens and a rooster. To reproduce they need the rooster to fertilize the eggs. When the eggs are laid, the hen will keep them warm. The eggs take up to 21 days to hatch. When the chicks are born, the mother hen will keep them warm, even while they're growing.

Chickens on the whole, are afraid of water, although some breeds are known to bath in shallow water and shake their feathers off to remove parasites, as well as taking dust baths for the same purpose.

Hens tend to have less colour in the feathers, as well as being smaller than Roosters. Roosters are much more colourful, and usually bear a large red crest on the top of their head. The feet are made up of three fingers in the front and one finger back for the balance.

Habitat and distribution[edit | edit source]

Chickens are known to live pretty much all over the world, except for freezing climates such as the Northern parts of Finland, Alaska and the Arctic Circle. They tend to adapt to most environments in which they live, eating native plants and small insects.

In culture[edit | edit source]

Backyard heritage chickens eating kitchen food waste.jpg
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